Different Styles of Tui na Massage

As Tui na developed over the centuries, several styles or schools evolved along the way. Tui na practitioners learn many different techniques for stimulating meridians, relaxing muscles, relieving pain and stretching joints.

As with other body-work therapies, experienced Tui na practitioners develop their own style depending upon where they were taught and their own natural abilities and preferences. Generally speaking, Tui na techniques fall into two broad styles – yin and yang. Most Tui na practitioners combine both and will vary techniques to suit each patient. Some specialise in either yin or yang styles.

Yin Style

Yin style Tui na is sometimes called Qi gong Tui na. The practitioner works from a still, relaxed, centred and grounded place and there is less obvious outer physical activity. A smaller range of techniques are applied gently, slowly and subtly to an area, channel or point for a relatively long period of time. The practitioner directs their attention and Qi into points, channels, bones and organs, to soothe, calm, cool, sedate, contain and nourish. Space and time is given for the patient’s awareness, breath and Qi to come to the area being treated and for changes to take place from within.

Yang Style

Yang style is dynamic and physical and is what you will mostly likely see practiced in the Tui na departments of TCM hospitals in China. A wide range of physically demanding massage techniques can be employed. Points and channels are stimulated strongly until the patient feels muscle knots release and a strong ‘de qi’ sensations such as soreness and tingling. Techniques flow and move rhythmically from one to another, moving, warming, invigorating, dispersing, dredging and clearing…