Tui Na Massage: The Do’s and Don’t of this Ancient Chinese Therapy

Tui Na Massage

Tui Na has been practised for thousands of years. For context, this ancient form of therapeutic massage focuses on the body’s meridian system, aiming to bring about balance and harmonise the body’s energy, their Qi. Interestingly, Tui Na has been consistently popular in Singapore as it embraces both traditional and contemporary wellness practices. That said, if this is your first foray into the world of Tui Na, here is a handy guide covering the do’s and don’t during your session.

The DOs of Tui Na

1. Consult with a Qualified Therapist

Tui Na, like all therapeutic modalities, requires expertise and understanding. In Singapore, TCM practitioners undergo rigorous training to be certified. So, before booking your appointment, take the time to research your therapist’s qualifications and registrations. If you want to know if your target practitioner is registered in Singapore, you can check the Ministry of Health (MOH) website. You should also check their specialisations as some practitioners specialise in certain ailments or techniques, thus, making them suitable for addressing specific concerns.

2. Communicate Your Concerns

Some practitioners schedule pre-session consultations while others consult with you before the start of your session. During this time, discuss any health concerns, previous injuries, and areas of pain or tension. Likewise, tell them your desired goal for the session. This discussion allows the therapist to better understand your needs and customise your session accordingly. Remember, a successful Tui Na session relies heavily on open communication. So, make sure you tell your therapist everything they need to know about your condition.

3. Relax and Stay Open-minded

If this is your first foray into Tui Na or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Tui Na might be different from the massage experiences you’re accustomed to, especially if you’re more familiar with Western modalities. Some techniques can be rigorous, while others focus on energy flow and rebalancing. So, relax, stay open-minded, and trust in the expertise of your practitioner.

4. Wear Loose, Comfortable Clothing

In some instances, you will be fully unclothed while in some, you might not. That said, just to make sure, wear loose and breathable clothing to ensure that you remain comfortable and that the therapist can effectively work your body without hindrance.

5. Drink Lots of Water After the Session

Hydration is key after any massage. During a Tui Na session, your body releases toxins from your body. So, to aid in your body’s recovery and to hasten the flushing out of these toxins, drink lots of water after your session.

The DON’Ts of Tui Na

1. Don’t Eat a Heavy Meal Before Your Session

A full stomach can make the massage uncomfortable, especially when pressure is applied to the abdominal area. So, it is best to have a light snack if you are hungry and then wait for at least an hour after eating before undergoing a Tui Na session.

2. Don’t Expect Only Gentle Strokes

Tui Na is known for its dynamic range of techniques. The practitioner can employ gentle rocking to vigorous kneading, tapping, and stretching. The combination of techniques used will be based on your condition and your desired goal. So, it is essential to be prepared for varied intensities. Know that these are all designed to stimulate energy flow and release blockages in your Qi.

3. Don’t Stay Silent if Uncomfortable

While Tui Na can be intense, especially when it targets deep tissue and certain muscles, it should not be unbearable. If you are experiencing any discomfort beyond your tolerance or if a particular technique doesn’t feel right, communicate it to your therapist immediately.

Your comfort and safety are paramount!

4. Don’t Receive Tui Na If You Have Certain Conditions

Tui Na, like other massage therapies, has contraindications. These include acute injuries, open wounds, recent fractures, certain skin conditions, or tumours. It’s also advised to be cautious or avoid Tui Na during pregnancy. That said, there are Tui Na practitioners in Singapore who specialise in prenatal care. If you are pregnant and want to try Tui Na, make sure to seek these specialised practitioners. Basically, always disclose your full medical history during your consultation to ensure that Tui Na is good for you.

5.     Don’t Rush Post Massage

A Tui Na session can be both invigorating and relaxing. You might feel a rush of energy, or you may feel deeply relaxed. Either way, give yourself time to recalibrate. Sit for a few moments, drink some water, and adjust before heading out. This can prevent any dizziness or lightheadedness that you may feel if you rush out.


Tui Na is a fascinating blend of traditional Chinese therapeutic techniques that can offer numerous health benefits. Whether you’re a resident of Singapore or a visitor intrigued by the city-state’s diverse wellness scene, understanding the do’s and don’ts of Tui Na ensures a safe and enriching experience.

Hopefully, this short guide will be helpful so you can greatly enjoy the benefits of Tui Na.



Denisse loves reading and writing about culture, history, and politics. Outside writing articles for The Singaporean, Denisse enjoys musicals, gaming, and Harry Potter.

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