Tui Na

Jenny Swan at Bodyfix Therapies in Horsham West Sussex. 28-12-2022 Photography by Sophie Ward

If you are unwell or in pain, Chinese massage (known as Tui Na) can bring welcome relief. It is quite simply the most tried and tested massage therapy in the world and can be even more effective when used in combination with acupuncture. For chronic conditions, Chinese herbs should also be included as the third element of treatment.


Tui Na Massage Therapy for Pain

Tui Na is a treatment generally performed on patients fully clothed. It is a Traditional Chinese Medicine form of medical massage focused on returning joints to their normal range of motion and on reducing the pain of dysfunctional joints.

Tui Na is thought to be the oldest system of bodywork practised today. This therapy accomplishes the same results as acupuncture, but without needles, and employs hand techniques, acupressure, range of motion stretches, gua sha, and cupping.
Where necessary, oils, gels, creams, sports massage and osteopathic techniques are also used to release tight fascia, for trigger point therapy or to aid pain relief.

Fully Clothed Massage

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing so your joints can be moved through their full range of motion. You may be moved into yoga-like stretches as various pressure points are worked on.

Tui Na Massage Style

There are as many styles of Tui Na as there are practitioners. I draw on my own experience as a Personal Trainer, Pilates practitioner and Sports Massage Therapist. I have also had significant training in Physiotherapy and Osteopathy.

I use techniques to relax the nervous system and calm the breath to allow muscles, tendons and joints to reset their natural tension-free state.

Purpose of Tui Na

The unique goal of Tui Na, and what classifies it as medical massage, is that it is aimed specifically at alleviating or relieving a specific ailment and its symptoms. Tui Na does this while working to balance the body and promote lasting health and vitality. Treatment is tailored to each patient according to their particular situation.

The benefits of Tui Na

Trauma Therapy

Tui Na is sometimes called "trauma therapy" because it breaks down scar tissue and adhesions. It relaxes muscles and tendons and opens circulation for the blood and Qi energy to speed up the healing process.

Restore Flexibility

Using Tui Na to restore structural balance throughout the body both prevents and rehabilitates dysfunction, keeping your body flexible and pain-free.

Realign for Range of Motion

Unlike Western massage systems, Tui Na treats a range of motion and bone alignment conditions. Unlike chiropractic, Tui Na treats the muscular tension surrounding joints and bony structures to avoid the rebound effect often experienced by chiropractic patients.

Release Chronic Pain

Connective tissue called fascia surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs of the body. Restriction in the fascia caused by trauma, posture, repetitive use, or inflammation can put a great deal of pressure on nerves and muscles, causing chronic pain. With Tui Na and myofascial release treatment, we can increase circulation and release tension in the fascia to balance tissue and muscle mechanics for pain management.

Treat the Whole Body

Every treatment can be considered a “whole body” treatment, even when one trouble area is the focus of the session.  This means that problems with the emotions, digestion, and even general energy levels can be treated.

Conditions treated with Tui Na

There are many conditions treated with Tui Na massage therapy, including external disorders and internal disease conditions.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Scoliosis
  • Frozen shoulder syndrome
  • Sprains & strains
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Myofasical pain disorders
  • Whiplash
  • Neck pain & stiffness
  • Tension headaches & migraine
  • Sports & martial arts injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis

Tuina is amazing

“My lower back has progressively got worse since my second child. Nothing seemed to work despite 2 weekly Chiropractor sessions for a year, drugs and various other professionals. After my first session of Acupuncture with Jenny, the pain lessened considerably – 2 more sessions and it’s gone!

Jenny has a way about her – she made me feel completely at ease and I knew she understood my pain and my situation. I felt safe. I was confident from the first session that she could help me. I now also have a regular Tuina massage with Jenny to keep my back supple and pain free. Tuina is amazing – I wish I had found this style of massage years ago!”

Sharon Peters

Before Tui Na Massage

Don't have treatment if unwell

I see many patients in a typical day. Being treated while under the weather may make you feel better in the short term, but is not good for me or my other patients on that day.

If you feel unwell for whatever reason, please reschedule your appointment. This is not only a courtesy to me and my other patients but is for your own benefit too as such treatment can drive a cold deeper within the body.

Don't have treatment if hungry or full

Allow at least one hour after a full meal before having treatment - although a light snack before treatment is fine. If you are hungry it might be difficult to relax into the treatment. If you are full, the stretches might feel uncomfortable.

During Tui Na Massage

During Tui Na Massage

During the treatment I will help you to focus on your breathing and would ask you to tell me if you want more or less pressure. The aim is to exhale from the diaphragm (twice as slowly as inhaling) with long smooth breaths from the diaphragm. Treatment is best received when breathing in unison with the stretches and myofascial release.
Sometimes I might ask you to provide “token” or “light" resistance to a massage technique to more actively engage your nervous system with the healing process.

After Tui Na Massage

After Tui Na Massage


Your body will rebalance in response to the Tuina Na massage treatment so allow it time to rest.

Avoid Vigorous Exercise

Avoid strenuous exercise for several hours after treatment to keep your body in relaxation mode.

Avoid Stress

Keep your mind and body as calm as possible to allow yourself time to respond to the treatment.

Drink Water

Drink plenty of water during the rest of the day of your treatment as this assists your body in the healing process.

"One disease, long life; no disease, short life." In other words, those who know what's wrong with them and take care of themselves accordingly will tend to live a lot longer than those who consider themselves perfectly happy and neglect their weakness. So, in that sense at least, a Weakness of some sort can do you a big favor, if you acknowledge that it's there.