It does so by working with meridians and acupressure points. As with acupuncture and acupressure, it focuses on changing the flow and opening the channels of qi, or life force energy, so that the energy is in balance and promotes health and healing. It can do so by enhancing joint mobility, helping heal soft tissue injury, improving functioning of internal organs, and regulating nerves.
Tui na is best known to deal with chronic pain and conditions often related to ongoing stress. However, it can also aid in digestive and respiratory disorders as well as insomnia, headache or PMS. It is usually applied through clothing, and treatment can be administered lying down or sitting up. Unlike many western forms of massage, tui na is not about relaxation or pleasure; it is about addressing specific disharmonies and opening up blockages in the body to improve vitality.