November 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm

by Tom Kennedy MBAcC

Tuina is part of the traditional medicine of China. Central to the understanding of this medicine is the concept of qi. Qi is the life force or vital energy which flows through all living things, including our own bodies.

In a healthy person, qi flows smoothly around the body. If, however, the flow is disrupted then illness can occur. Tuina aims to rebalance both the flow of qi and the muscles and joints through gentle, but stimulating massage techniques.  These techniques work on the whole body and on specific acupuncture points.  Treatments are carried out over clothing, either sitting in a chair, or lying on a massage table.

Tuina can help a wide variety of conditions including: back pain, neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, ligament injuries, tendonitis, RSI, athritis/rheumatism, migraine, neurological conditions etc.

I initially began training in tuina in 2004 during my acupuncture degree at Westminster University.  Since then, I have undertaken further training in tuina for physical pain and injury rehabilitation.  I have found that tuina and acupuncture complement each other very well, and I often suggest a mixture of the two treatments within the same session.  I use acupuncture for quite specific purposes, but tuina can be used in a more flexible way to relax and release larger areas of the body.  I also use it to unify and reconnect the body, for example by frequently working down the arms and legs during neck, shoulder and back treatments.

The strength and emphasis of the treatment is very much tailored to the individual – for example, a frail elderly patient may require gentle, nourishing techniques, whilst an injured rugby player would probably need something more vigorous and stimulating in order to improve.

I’ve had very good feedback about tuina from my patients, and not just from those who aren’t keen on needles.  Typically they are left feeling relaxed but invigorated, and I have found the success of my treatments has increased since integrating tuina.

If you’d like to try tuina, I’m running the following promotion until the end of 2010:

20 minute tuina ‘taster’ session (neck and shoulders, or back and legs) for just £10.  Available Wednesday afternoons – please ask for a 20 minute session when booking.

Tom Kennedy MBAcC (


Entry filed under: Massage.

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