Tuina (Chinese Medical Massage) May Improve Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Bodywork and Research

Tuina, or Chinese Medical Massage, is a critical part of "acupuncture" or more appropriately the system of Chinese Medicine.  While somewhat underutilized by many practitioners, it is nonetheless a crucial set of techniques within Chinese Medicine.  In our clinical experience it is crucial for pain related conditions but also for many systemic conditions such as the auto-immune aspects of conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).  Clinically we have seen tremendous aid from Chinese Medicine for CFS patients but responses do vary based on techniques used and the patients overall set of symptoms.

To better understand the efficacy of tuina for CFS patients, researchers at the Department of Tuina within the Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine in Shanghai used electrical analysis of skeletal muscles and chronic pain scale scores to evaluate tuina.

In this study researchers recruited 32 patients with CFS and then 30 patients who matched the gender, age, weight and height of the CFS patients were recruited as a control group.  Patients were given preliminary testing, including a pain scale score (FACIT) and checking levels of muscle activity by surface electromyography in the biceps, quadriceps, waist and back muscles. 

The CFS group initially showed higher readings in the waist and back muscles than the control group.  The MF did not change after tuina treatment but the scores of the FACIT questionnaire did change significantly in the tuina group.  Researchers conclucded that Tuina can improve symptoms within CFS patients but the underlying mechanisms are not yet understood.

Tuina (Chinese Medical Massage) May Improve Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 24 October 2011

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