Tuina by using simple manipulations such as pushing, grasping, pressing, rubbing, kneading, thumping with one's own hands on certain points and particular areas of the body surface to attain the purpose of health care, rehabilitation and treating diseases is known as self-tuina. As an important component of Chinese tuina, self-tuina functions mainly because the stimulations generated by self-performed manipulations activate one's meridian points arid the qi and blood systems to exert therapeutic effects. Meanwhile self-tuina process itself is actually an active exercise. Therefore, a satisfactory result will certainly be gained if one selects correct points and areas to be treated in accordance with syndrome differentiation and his individual health conditions, and conducts self-tuina therapy carefully, progressively and persistently.
Self-tuina therapy can be done in a sitting, standing or lying position as one's condition requires. The practitioner of self-tuina should perform manipulations calmly and attentively, breathe naturally, but not hold his breath. He should also take a proper posture, get manipulations, strength, mental activities and qi flow well-coordinated, viz. the mind and will should follow the movements of the hand to the manipulated areas, meanwhile coordinating with breath, direct qi in his mind to the meridians and points in the treated area. When manipulations like pressing are performed, force exerted should first be light, then gradually become heavy until one feels qi-arrival with a sore and distending sensation at the meridian points.
When manipulations of circular rubbing or to-and-fro rubbing (Mofa or Cafa) are performed, the hands and the skin in the treated areas should be kept dry. Talcum powder or some other media may be applied if there is sweat. The force exerted should be proper, and the manipulations are operated until a warm or hot sensation is attained in the local area. Too heavy force and too long time of rubbing should be avoided, in case the skin is scratched. Self-tuina is usually conducted twice a day, one in the morning and the other in the evening; 20 - 30 minutes each time are enough.
At the initial stage of practicing self-tuina, general fatigue, especially aching pain and other discomforts in the hands may occur after doing massage for some time, which is a normal phenomenon because one's physical strength is not adaptabe to it. However, as one's manipulations become skillful, physical strength improves and exercises are bettered, these discomforts will voluntarily disappear, and one will feel warm all over the body, and light-hearted and relaxed mentally and physically if one sticks to practising self-tuina. What's more, as long as the joints in one's two upper extremities function normally, and after some time of practice, one will be able to perform self-tuina freely on any parts of his body.
The manipulations of local self-tuina and the commonly used manipulations of expectant self-tuina are briefly introduced in the following two sections of this chapter.page_break]
Self-tuina on the Head and the Face
Pushing the Forehead on Either Side Separately Starting from the midline of the forehead, which runs from Yintang (EX-HN 3) to the anterior hairline, push from below to above with the radial sides of the second knuckle of the two bent index fingers towards the left and right Sizhukong (TE 23), Taiyang (EX-HN 5) and Touwei (ST 8) respectively 30 - 50 times.
Wiping the Temples Press the temples forcefully with the whorled surfaces of the thumbs, and push forward and backward repeatedly about 30 times until a sore and distending sensation is generated.
Pressing-kneading the Back of the Head Press Fengchi (GB 20) with the whorled surfaces or the tip of the thumbs tightly 10 times or more, then press-knead them rotationally, and finally press-knead the point Naokong (GB19) or Naohoukong (GB 19) for about 80 times until a sore and distending sensation is generated.
Patting the Vertex Sitting upright with the eyes looking straight ahead, the teeth clenched, pat the fontanel area rhythmically with the palm about 10 times.
Rubbing the Face with the Hot Palms Generated by Rubbing (Cuoshouyumian) Rub the hands against each other to get them hot first, put the palms closely against the forehead, rub-scrape forcefully downward to the mandible, push along the inferior margins of the mandible outward to Jiache (ST 6), continuing upward through the preauricular areas and the temples to the midline of the forehead. This procedure is to be repeated 20-30 times until a hot sensation on the face is achieved.
ACTIONS It functions in invigorating the brain, improving intelligence and tranquilizing the mind. It proves to be effective in prevention and treatment of headache, dizziness, insomnia, amnesia, neurosis and facial paralysis.
Health Care of the Eyes with Self-tuina
Kneading Cuanzhu (BL 2): Place the whorled surfaces of the thumbs on Cuanzhu (BL 2) in the depressions proximal to the medial end of the eyebrows, and knead them with gradually-increasing force about 20 times until a sensation of soreness and distension is achieved.
Kneading Jingming (BL 1). Put the whorled surface of the thumb and the index finger of the right hand respectively on the two points of Jingming (BL 1), which is located in the depression 0. 1 cun above the inner can-thus. Press downward forcefully and then pinch upward.
Repeat the operation 20 - 30 times.
Pressing-kneading Sibai (ST 2): Place the whorled surfaces of the index fingers on Sibai (ST 2), 1 cun below the midpoint of the lower orbit respectively, and press-knead about 20 times until a sore and distending sensation is generated.
Scraping the Orbits. Bend the two index fingers, apply the radial surfaces of the second knuckles to the internal ends of the up