Tui na or tuina (/ˌtwiː ˈnɑː/, Chinese: 推拿; pinyin: tuī ná), is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, fire cupping, Chinese herbalism, t’ai chi, and qigong.Tui na is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist principles in an effort to bring the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into balance. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll, press, and rub the areas between each of the joints, known as the eight gates, to attempt to open the body’s defensive chi (Wei Qi) and get the energy moving in the meridians and the muscles. Techniques may be gentle or quite firm. The name comes from two of the actions: tui means “to push” and na means “to lift and squeeze.” Other strokes include shaking and tapotement. The practitioner can then use range of motion, traction, with the stimulation of acupressure points. These techniques are claimed to aid in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions. As with many other traditional Chinese medical practices, there are different schools which vary in their approach to the discipline. It is related also to Japanese massage or anma (按摩).
In ancient China, medical therapy was often classified as either “external” or “internal” treatment. Tui na was one of the external methods, thought to be especially suitable for use on the elderly population and on infants. In modern China, many hospitals include tui na as a standard aspect of treatment, with specialization for infants, adults, orthopedics, traumatology, cosmetology, rehabilitation, and sports medicine. In the West, tui na is taught as a part of the curriculum at some acupuncture schools.
Acupressure [from Latin acus “needle” (see acuity) + pressure (n.)] is an alternative medicine technique similar in principle to acupuncture. It is based on the concept of life energy which flows through “meridians” in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. Pressure may be applied by hand, by elbow, or with various devices.
Some medical studies have suggested that acupressure may be effective at helping manage nausea and vomiting, for helping lower back pain, tension headaches, stomach ache, among other things, although such studies have been found to have a high likelihood of bias. Like many alternative medicines, it may benefit from a placebo effect.
According to Quackwatch, acupressure is a dubious practice and its practitioners use irrational methods.