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What's the difference between tui na and acupuncture?

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 19 June 2023

Acupuncture chinese medicine tui na

Acupuncture and tui na (Chinese remedial massage) are both traditional Chinese medicine therapies that can treat a variety of health concerns. While they both come from the same branch of ancient medicine and target specific acupoints, there are some key differences between acupuncture and tui na.

Firstly, and probably the most obvious difference, is that acupuncture uses needles and tui na uses hands and fingers to apply pressure and stimulate acupoints.

Let's explore what acupuncture and tui na are and what they are used for...

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated more than 2,000 years ago and is an essential traditional Chinese medicine therapy. It focuses on achieving harmony and the normal flow of “qi” (energy) in the body by stimulating anatomical points – this process is used to activate your body's natural healing abilities. The treatment itself uses fine, single-use, medical-grade stainless steel needles to stimulate anatomical points (which can be paired with manual manipulation, heat or electrical stimulation).

An acupuncture appointment at Endeavour Wellness Clinic involves a student practitioner inserting fine, stainless steel needles into the skin at specific points along the body’s meridians. The treatment as a whole uses four diagnostic methods to evaluate a person's overall condition: observing and inspecting, listening and smelling, inquiring, and palpitation. Acupuncture’s use of fine needles means it can be a more precise form of treatment in comparison to tui na.

What can acupuncture help with?

Acupuncture may assist in the signs and symptoms of:

  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Fertility and pregnancy
  • Gut health
  • Arthritis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Respiratory conditions like asthma
  • Sleep

What is Tui Na (Chinese Remedial Massage)?

Tui na is all about soft tissue treatment, skeletal alignment, and energy distribution. It’s a massage that can be performed through clothing/towels which applies massage techniques to meridians and acupoints to stimulate their function. On a practical level, it’s more physically demanding as it involves repetitive, physical movement.

An initial tui na or Chinese remedial massage appointment involves a student practitioner and supervisor listening to your health concerns and developing your personalised treatment plan. This style of massage is performed while you are fully clothed, no herbs are prescribed and no needles are used – it’s the least invasive form of traditional Chinese medicine. Our tui na treatments at Endeavour Wellness Clinic often involve other manual therapies including moxibustion, cupping and gua sha.

What can tui na (Chinese remedial massage) assist with:

  • Pain
  • Circulation
  • Digestive conditions
  • Fertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology
  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Stress

Both acupuncture and tui na may treat a range of health conditions and can be the catalyst for reaching a more optimal state of wellbeing. If you’re curious but unsure which of these treatments are right for you, get in touch with our clinic who will be happy to help.

Book an acupuncture or tui na (Chinese remedial massage) appointment today!

Our Wellness Clinics offer a range of affordable and effective natural health treatments. Find out more about our Acupuncture and Tui Na treatments.

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers higher education Diplomas in Health Science and Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine.

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