I was in a discussion the other day about the quality of massage therapy and which I thought was better. Over the course of the discussion, the others involved were going on about Dermoneuromodulation (DNM), Feldenkrais Method, Bowen Therapy and Swedish Deep Tissue massage. I found their point compelling and interesting, however I feel that those modalities often forget the body is a whole organism. Tuina, or Chinese Medical Massage, originated over four thousand years ago in China. Interestingly enough, Pierre Henrick Ling actually developed swedish gymnastics (the forebearer of Swedish massage) from an experience of Tuina used on him to help him overcome Rheumatism.
Why is Tuina better, in my opinion? Because it actually looks at the whole body. The process evaluates how the whole body is functioning.
When asked what I meant by that, I explained. Back pain for example has many different causes. They immediately responded with a point that it is always neuromuscular though. The reality is, low back pain can be caused by constipation/diarrhea, kidney infections/dysfunction, stomach issues, small intestine issues, bladder issues and also lower extremity issues. Tuina evaluates for all of these by way of the channels and collaterals as well as the five element and yin/yang theories that have been evaluated, researched and studied for over five thousand years.
In short, I feel Tuina is better because it is more whole-istic instead of being focused on the symptoms described.