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History of Tuina Therapy---The Oldest Healing Art

The Qin and Han Dynasties

In the period of the Qin and Han dynasties (221B.C.─A.D.220) in Chinese history, tuina or massage was an important medical approach to treat diseases and to keep fit.  The great classical medical work Huang Di Nei Jing, (Huangdi's Canon of Medicine) written in that period stated that tuina acted to promote circulation of qi and blood, relax muscles and tendons, dredge meridians and collaterals, calm the mind, relieve pain, subside fever,   in addition to treating blockage diseases, atrophy-flaccidity ,deviation of the mouth and eye and relieving stomach pain.

The Jin and Tang Dynasties

Many records from the Jin Dynasty (265-420) report the use of tuina for emergency cases, such as acute chest pain and abdominal pain, which were treated with maneuvers of spinal kneading and abdominal rubbing.  These reports indicate the progress of tuina manipulations from simple pressing and rubbing to complex ones with both hands.

In the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907), nearly all bone disorders and fractures were treated by tuina therapy.  In addition to soft tissue injuries, tuina was applied to conditions in internal medicine, gynecology and pediatrics.  Tuina was also used widely as a means of preventative health care.

 The Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasties: (960-1368)

After the Tang Dynasty (619-970), the academic system of the tuina therapy experienced affluence and perfection in the course of its development.  Shi Yi De Xiao Fang (Effective Formulas Tested by Physicians for Generations) compiled by Wei Yilin of the Yuan Dynasty, recorded various techniques for reposition by traction with human body's gravitational force.  Moreover, massage was also used to induce child birth during the Song Dynasty.

 

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