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Tui Na (tuina) or Tui Na An Mo is a Chinese medical massage that can be used for both prevention and treatment of disease. It is one of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). Techniques used by the Certified Veterinary Tui Na Practitioner (CVT or CVTNP) include Acupressure, gentle massage and musculoskeletal manipulations. Acupressure involves using one’s thumb or fingers to press on key Acupuncture points to gently stimulate them. While this is not as direct as the insertion of needles into the points, as performed in Acupuncture, it nonetheless has very positive effects.
Tui Na techniques are applied to Acupuncture channels or meridians, as well as the Acupuncture points themselves. These techniques can be used to promote the flow of Qi and Blood thus reducing pain, spasms and adhesions and increasing circulation. In addition, Tui Na can balance organ systems, soothe joints, ligaments, tendons and connective tissue, and strengthen the immune system.
Veterinary Tui Na can be used to treat many types of medical conditions* in the dog and cat including:
v Musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, muscle pain and ligament injuries
v Neurological disorders such as intervertebral disc disease, neck or back pain, and seizures
v Internal medical disorders such as kidney disease, asthma, and chronic bronchitis
v Clinical signs such as decreased appetite, diarrhea and coughing
v Geriatric issues such as weakness and stiffness
v Pediatric issues such as viral infections and malnutrition
Moreover, Tui Na can be used for performance enhancement in the athlete and for disease prevention. As with Acupuncture, the examination of the tongue, palpation of the pulse and energetic assessment of the patient help the practitioner decide which massage techniques or Acupressure points would be helpful.
Tui Na may be used as a single treatment modality, especially for dogs or cats (or sometimes their guardians) who may be fearful of needles! Dr. Donato often incorporates Tui Na techniques, however, with Acupuncture, and sometimes chiropractic. She will teach owners and guardians key Acupressure points and simple massage techniques to use at home on their dogs and cats. Most animal patients will love their massage and often ‘ask’ their guardians when they want it! This helps nurture the special bond between the dog or cat and their human guardian and provides the guardian with a more integral role in the healing and health of their animal friend.
* Sometimes Acupuncture and conventional treatments are needed concurrently.