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Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine involving inserting thin needles into the body at acupuncture points. It can be associated with the application of heat, pressure, or laser light to these same points. Acupuncture is most commonly used for pain relief, though it is also used for a wide range of conditions. Clinical practice varies depending on the country. It is rarely used alone but rather as an adjunct to other forms of treatment.
Tui na is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, fire cupping, Chinese herbalism, t’ai chi, and qigong. Tui na is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist and martial arts principles in an effort to bring the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into balance. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press, and rub the areas between each of the joints, known as the eight gates, to attempt to open the body’s defensive (wei) chi and get the energy moving in the meridians and the muscles. Techniques may be gentle or quite firm. The name comes from two of the actions: tui means “to push” and na means “to lift and squeeze.” Other strokes include shaking and tapotement. The practitioner can then use range of motion,traction, with the stimulation of acupressure points. These techniques are claimed to aid in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions. As with many other traditional Chinese medical practices, there are different schools which vary in their approach to the discipline. It is related also to Japanese massage or anma.
Chinese herbal medicine is part of an integrated system of primary health care, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has an uninterrupted history of development dating back thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia.