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It is interesting recently to learn that the scientists have studied its effectiveness to treat depression in clinical trials. Tui Na is the hands on application of medical massage techniques on Qi points (the same Qi points that acupuncturists use, to improve the body’s ability to combat or prevent disease. It is practiced in nearly every hospital throughout the Orient and its effectiveness is recognised all over the world.


The study illustrates the broad effectiveness of this ancient hands-on therapy. The study was conducted by researchers from Nanjing University and can be found published in the US National Library of Medicine. The researchers used a special Tui Na technique called Spinal Pinching on rats to alleviation of depression symptoms.

Chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) techniques were used to cause rats to experience depression and then Tui Na pinching spine technique was applied daily for one week. During the study the rats had various measurements cataloged such as their body weight and their sucrose intake and at the end of the study, a microarray genome wide expression analysis of their hippocampus was calculated.

The researchers found that the Tui Na spine pinching techniques improved behavioural activity and sucrose spending. These were increased due to the stress responses. They also found decreases of several genes related to energy metabolism, olfactory receptor and anti-oxidation.

Several genes related to homeostasis, immunity-inflammation, and restriction of activities and ingestion was increased. They concluded that the pinching spine techniques showed a “potential antidepressant like effect” most likely related to chemical changes in the hippocampus.


Tui Na Technique Found Helpful for Depression
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