Background
Tuina is the traditional physical therapy of Chinese Medicine. Like other modalities within Chinese Medicine it is very ancient but continues to provide front line healthcare in modern China. It is a therapy which is very popular among patients: every hospital or clinic in China has a thriving Tuina department.

Principles
In the West massage is usually regarded as a merely supporting therapy for relaxation. In China, Tuina is seen as a primary therapy which is at least as effective as acupuncture and herbal medicine in treating a range of serious health problems. There are three main types of Tuina technique: Tissue release techniques use deep rhythmic kneading and frictions to enhance circulation of blood and lymph and breakdown knotted tissue and adhesions; pressure techniques work directly on the acupuncture points and have similar effects to needles; mobilization uses stretching and joint movement methods.

Effectiveness
Clinical trials in China have shown that Tuina is effective for a wide range of problems of a musculo-skeletal and neurological origin, including tension headaches, stiff neck, frozen shoulder, lower back pain, sciatica, RSI and arthritis. It is also demonstrably effective for hypertension, asthma and many abdominal problems, especially where tension and stress are causative factors.

Professional Standards
There are as yet only a handful of Tuina practitioners in the UK. Most will have undertaken a Diploma course of between one and three years duration.