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Do needles make you say ‘nah’? Here’s an introduction to Tui Na

Written by Jess Reeves | Wednesday, 27 February 2019

chinese medicine

Tui Na (pronounced "twee nah") is a Chinese Medicine bodywork treatment that uses a combination of massage, acupressure and other forms of body manipulation.

Tui Na is a complete system of medicine, used for both internal diseases and external injuries.

Its unique methods of diagnosis and treatment set it apart from other health sciences. Tui Na utilises pressure on acupuncture points, meridians and groups of muscles and nerves to promote the free flow of ‘qi’ and move blockages. These blockages are considered to cause an imbalance of qi throughout the body, and so removing these blockages is utilised to help improve health and vitality.

Tui Na was originally documented in one of the foundation texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Huangdi Neijing (The latest translation is titled ‘The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine’) written by the famous Chinese emperor Huangdi around 2600 BC (Curran, 2008). The practice gained steady growth which lead to Tui Na being added to the curriculum throughout all major traditional Chinese medical schools (Curran, 2008).

Within China, Tui Na is currently taught as a separate but equal field of study. Tui Na practitioners receive the same level of training and professional respect as acupuncturists and herbalists. It is also taught in Australia as part of a Chinese Medicine qualification. At Endeavour College of Natural Health Tui Na is taught as part of the Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture)curriculum. Student practitioners complete four Tui Na specific subjects, including over 150 hours in Tui Na clinical practice as part of their Acupuncture qualification.

You can expect a visit with a Tui Na practitioner to be the least invasive form of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This style of massage is performed while you are fully clothed, no needles are used and no herbs are prescribed. You might visit a Tui Na practitioner for similar complaints as you would think to see an acupuncturist for. These two Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies are often combined in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions.

To book in for a Tui Na appointment with one of our student practitioners visit call 1300 859 785.


Curran, J. (2008) The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.
          BMJ, 336(7647), 777. https://doi/10.1136/bmj.39527.472303.4E

Jess Reeves

Currently studying aBachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture), Jess is in the midst of balancing a career in marketing with pursuing her new career in acupuncture. Outside of work and study, Jess spends her time practicing yoga, cooking up delicious vegan meals, flying through the clouds (skydiving), and op shopping.

Read more by Jess Reeves