Tui Na – doesn’t that normally come with sweetcorn and mayonnaise?

By Paul Johnson, Joint Acupuncture Course Leader, The City College of Acupuncture

Twenty years ago, whenever you saw the word ‘acupuncture’ written down it would invariably be followed by ‘the ancient Chinese art of inserting incredibly fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate a healing response’, usually in brackets. Nowadays everyone knows what acu-puncture is.

Tui Na (pronounced ‘twee nah’, not tuna!) is a relative newcomer on the UK scene but is already growing in reputation. Tui Na practitioners are always busy – once patients have experienced it they always want more. So, what is Tui Na, and why do people use it?

Tui Na (which means ‘push-pull’ in Chinese) is one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with Acupuncture, Herbal medicine and Qi gong. It is a form of medical massage based around the acupuncture points and meridians. Tui Na practitioners need to make a thorough diagnosis of their patients before treating them as it is a complete medical system in itself.

A Tui Na treatment happens whilst the person is still clothed. Tui Na practitioners use a wide range of techniques to knead, roll, press and rub the body to activate the flow of Qi and restore harmony. The technique dates back over 2,000 years and is used extensively in China to treat internal condi-tions as well as musculoskeletal aches and pains.

The City College of Acupuncture (CCA) Tui Na course is run by Sarah Pritchard who is probably the most well-known Tui Na practitioner in the UK. Her first book “Chinese Massage Manual” text was widely regarded as the definitive English language text on Tui Na Massage. Her second book “Tui Na – A Manual of Chinese Massage Therapy” is the most comprehensive handbook for stu-dents and practitioners of Tui Na working in the West.

Sarah has been running her Tui Na course for the past fifteen years. In fact, Sarah has taught most of the other people teaching Tui Na in the UK. She is the teacher of teachers!

No-one argued with her when she said she wanted us to run the most in-depth Tui Na course in the UK. Rather than just learning a number of hand techniques and not really understanding what to do with them, we will teach you the entire diagnostic framework of TCM and get you to work on genu-ine patients in our teaching clinic so that when you leave you are a skilled and confident practition-er. We also integrate the teaching of Qi Gong (‘life energy cultivation’) into our classes so that you learn how to conserve your own energy. Graduates from the course can join the UKRTCM, the largest registering body for Tui Na practitioners in the UK.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are considering training in Tui Na, CCA is the obvious place to do it!

Sarah Pritchard will be running a workshop at the 2017 British Acupuncture Council Conference in Reading on September 24th.