What is Tui Na Massage?
Tui na translates as “pushing and grasping” and this traditional form of massage is one of the pillars of Chinese medicine along with acupuncture, herbs, and dietary therapy. Tui na can be useful in the treatment of many different conditions including various women’s health issues.
How does Tui Na Massage Benefit Women’s Health?
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a great many diseases are caused by blockages in the natural circulation of qi and blood. Qi is light and fast-moving, and has the functions of warming, nourishing, and protecting our vital organs. Blood is heavier, denser and slower, and has the functions of nourishing and moistening. Qi and blood are closely related to one another, with qi guiding and moving blood, and blood nurturing qi and giving it a material home. Because of this relationship, problems with qi often develop into problems with blood, and vice versa.
Many women’s health issues are due to qi and blood disorders. If these two substances cannot flow as smoothly as they should, this causes a condition known as stagnation. Stagnation can lead to problems such as irregular menstruation, painful periods, and PMS. If qi and blood become deficient, this can cause missed periods, excessively light periods, and infertility.
Tui na can help to restore the free flow of blood and qi by using firm but gentle movements on the skin’s surface to stimulate circulation in the areas below. For women’s issues, this could mean massaging the abdomen, or other areas containing acupuncture channels which run through the abdomen. If you are pregnant or menstruating, it is important to avoid the abdomen itself and focus on other areas instead.
Tui Na Massage for Menstrual Issues
If you suffer from irregular menstruation, painful periods, PMS, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, the chances are that you have either stagnant qi, blood, or both. Tui na can be used to release this stagnation and improve the circulation to your uterus and ovaries. You should always avoid abdominal massage during menstruation, so it is best to go for treatment in the weeks leading up to your period instead.
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Tui Na Massage for Fertility Support
If you are looking for help to conceive naturally, or want to increase your chances of a successful IVF cycle, tui na massage could help. Because this type of massage can improve the circulation to your ovaries and uterus, it can help to assist conception and prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. Tui na is also extremely relaxing, and can help to relieve the stress that so often comes hand in hand with fertility issues.
Tui Na Massage in Pregnancy
Although it is important not to massage the abdomen itself during pregnancy, it is safe to massage other areas of the body. Therefore, tui na is a great way to relieve many of the problems you may encounter during pregnancy, without the need for medication.
Some of the pregnancy-related issues which tui na can help with include back pain, leg cramps, sciatica, headaches, constipation, and swollen legs. Tui na can also help to reduce stress and prepare your body for labor as your due date approaches.
Massage and acupressure are also a great way to relieve pain and anxiety during labor itself. Getting your birthing partner to learn a few simple techniques before the big day can really help to make the process more comfortable for you. It also allows your partner to feel more useful and involved in the birth rather than just looking on helplessly.
Post-Partum Tui Na Massage
If you have just given birth, tui na can also be very beneficial. It can help with musculoskeletal issues such as back pain, and can promote relaxation to help with common post-partum problems such as stress and depression.
Tui na massage may also help to boost lactation if you are struggling to produce enough milk to feed your new baby. Your provider can teach you how to massage yourself at home, making it easier to incorporate into your schedule as you adjust to being a mom.
Tui na massage can be helpful for women of all ages whether you have a particular problem or just want to boost your reproductive health. If you suffer from a specific women’s health issue, ask your acupuncturist for more information about how tui na could benefit you and the best way to incorporate it into your regular self-care routine.