How to overcome shoulder pain and injury with Tui Na, Chinese Massage

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Do you suffer from a shoulder injury or long term pain? Here's how Tui Na, Chinese Massage, can help you successfully resolve it.
tui na edinburgh Mark Appleford shoulder pain injury living health

Resolve shoulder injuries and pain with Tui Na, Chinese Massage, in Edinburgh and West Linton.

Experiencing shoulder and neck pain is not uncommon, as well as the feelings and thoughts of frustration that come with it.

It’s clear that not having full range of motion and being in pain impacts on both simple and more complex everyday tasks, from lifting an arm to get a jar off a top shelf to our exercise routine. This can all become more intense as time passes and our pain is not resolved.

What I will show you in this article is how shoulder pain and injury is approached and successfully treated within the paradigm of Chinese Medicine and Tui Na, the Chinese Medical Massage.


The Way of Chinese Medicine & The Art of Tui Na


Tui Na can be described as massage and manipulation of the body applied to assist recovery and alter the flow of blood and chi through the physical tissues, meridians and energy systems. It literally means to grasp and pull the disease out of the body.

It is an excellent mode of therapy that can help many conditions ranging from acute sports injuries to internal conditions such as anxiety and stress.

Although we use the term medical massage and often relate Tui Na to remedial, soft/deep tissue, orthopaedic massage, trigger point, myofascial release, joint mobilisations or stretching, it is really important to understand that what makes this treatment unique.

  1. It is Chinese Medicine delivered through Physical Therapy.
  2. It is equally as much art as it is science.
  3. A Tui Na practitioner uses skills that come from the practice of a technique.
  4. The skill of the practitioner to feel and apply the techniques is key.

From the Chinese Medicine perspective an injury to the shoulder falls into the Jin category, which is basically the equivalent of the soft tissues in modern anatomy (think tendons, fascia, joint capsules and all the connective tissue of the body).


From this viewpoint the source of Jin conditions can fall broadly into two categories:

  1. Physical trauma (external violence)
  2. Overuse (Chronic Strain)

As with any treatment, it is always based on the initial consultation and dependent on the person’s resources and resilience.


Physical Trauma

When reviewing the context of physical trauma and shoulder related injury, contact and high impact sports such as rugby and martial arts are great examples. These sports can result in a high percentage of collar bone and rotator cuff injuries due to the contact and acute over training.

People actively involved in these sports can have in a quicker recovery from a Tui Na perspective; they usually have a good and robust constitution, good response to pain, good nutrition and are aware of the rest and recovery in training. They are also generally motivated and want to get back to the sport and can be willing to go the extra mile to get there quicker. All of this allows the Tui Na Practitioner to take a strong approach to treatment as all ingredients are in place for a potentially good recovery.

An example of the skill/technique applied in the treatment would be Bo Fa (plucking) which would be used to break the adhesions apart, followed by mobilising techniques (Yo Fa and Ba Shen Fa) to help with mobilisation of the shoulder.

In Part Two we will look at the more chronic strain concept in Tui Na and Chinese Medicine.


Frozen Shoulder Happy Client Review

In the below video Michael shares his experience of Tui Na treatment with Mark Appleford, a qualified and experienced Tui Na practitioner at one of the Living Health Edinburgh based clinics.


To book a Tui na – chinese massage for shoulder pain and injuries in Edinburgh or West Linton, get in touch

Mark Appleford

Mark Appleford

The co-founder Living Health. Passionate about health, bodywork, Chinese medicine, mental health, clinical hypnotherapy, zen and martial arts.

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"Fantastic treatment! Both Veronika and Mark are truly lovely and really know what they are doing. Wish I wasn’t only visiting the area so I could go back!!"

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