Body work

Last night was my first tui na class. I really enjoyed it. The teacher, Dr. Wang, is a big man who works at the Dongzhimen TCM Hospital. He speaks a little English, but mostly works through an interpreter. There are eight students in the class (the maximum number allowed); six women, an Australian bloke, and myself. Some were there just out of curiosity, a couple because they’d had tuina treatment and wanted to learn how to do it themselves, and one is a qualified acupuncturist from the UK who’s broadening her knowledge of TCM.

A lot of the class was taken up by introductions and basics. We were introduced to the three types of manipulation we will use in this course:

  1. Pushing with one-finger meditation
  2. Rolling (with a semi-fist)
  3. Kneading

This first class was focused on the head, face, and eyes, so we learned about the following points:

I have to say that I found it difficult enough to locate these points on my own head; I find it hard to see how I’ll locate them on other people! Dr. Wang came around to each of us and pressed hard on the points so that we could feel where they were. Apparently I have a very easy-to-feel bai hui point….

After that, we were shown various connections between the points that could be massaged by a combination of techniques. We finished up by practising the three techniques on our partners (I’m teamed up with the Australian guy, of course). We weren’t trying to connect with any points, just to get familiar with the methods. I’m not very good at this point, sad to say. My posture was apparently not good; have to work on that, then.

We didn’t have enough time to practise on the massage lines of the face; we should do that at the start of the next class, before moving on to the care of the cervical vertebra.

I may not be a natural at this, but I definitely felt I learned something useful, and I’m looking forward to getting more practical experience in the weeks to come. I’ll have to put time aside to memorize the names of the points…

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