The Tuina Practitioner


Tuina practitioners treat health conditions by diagnosing medical patterns of disharmony according to the ancient methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They then manipulate specially chosen areas of the body to facilitate healing. Tuina is also known as needle-less acupuncture. Practitioners take account of the full medical history of a patient and the way they look and behave before carrying out treatment.

Work Activities

Tuina is an ancient Chinese therapy. It is a medical technique recognized by the World Health Organization. It is used to promote health and treat a wide range of conditions including: Digestive disorders (e.g. IBS, Constipation, Abdominal pain, etc) Musculo-skeletal pain syndromes. Menstrual and reproductive problems. Mental and physical conditions (e.g. Stress, Psychosomatic, addictions,) The principles of traditional and classical Tuina treatment can be studied and practiced by anyone. Some practitioners may offer additional complementary therapies such as Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, or Qi Gong Health exercise.

In a Tuina treatment, the practitioner manipulates the patient’s skin at certain points on the body. This stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals, which in turn lead to an improved biochemical balance within the body. This is known as ‘balancing the Qi (energy)’. The end result is improved health.

On a client’s first visit, the Tuina practitioner makes a diagnosis. Interviewing the client about their lifestyle, diet, sleep, emotions, family history and many other things does this. As the client talks, the Tuina practitioner notes down significant symptoms, signs and clinical manifestations on a medical record card. The Tuina practitioner examines the client. They may observe the patient’s posture, examine their skin, nails, eyes and tongue, and take their pulse, which has 28 different qualities. All these things are taken together to make a diagnosis and decide on the treatment protocol. This is known as a holistic approach, meaning that the practitioner treats the whole person and not just the particular symptoms in isolation.

For the treatment, the Tuina practitioner manipulates the patient’s skin at certain points on the body, with finger, knuckle, palm, elbow or knee pressure, according to where the ‘meridians’ are. A meridian is a line or channel of Qi (energy) running through the body. The treatment can take between 20 and 70 minutes. Normally it will last of 50 minutes.

During this time, Tuina practitioner will use between 10 to 20 different manipulation techniques to rebalance the Qi (energy)

Sometimes the advanced Tuina practitioners will use cupping – a therapy that uses vacuum suction that stimulates circulation in an area. The Tuina practitioner may also use heat (known as moxabustion – a small amount of herbal substance is burned, to heat at the particular area of the skin).

At the end of the treatment, the Tuina practitioner will offer advice on lifestyle and exercises. After this, the Tuina practitioner may arrange another appointment for the patient and take payment.

Personal Qualities and Skills

You will need to have a methodical approach when you are applying your knowledge. You will also need to enjoy analyzing problems and helping people. You must be a good communicator, able to ask people the right questions and listen sympathetically. Some people are apprehensive of foreign therapies, so you need to be able to reassure them. If you are going to be self-employed, you should have good business sense.

Pay and Opportunities

Earnings for Tuina practitioners vary depending on the number of clients they see. Self-employed practitioners may earn in the range of €26,000 – €45,550 a year rising to € 48,400 – € 51,200. However, they may earn considerably less than these rates especially when starting out. Most practitioners in Ireland are self-employed. They may choose their hours of work to suit their clients. Evening and weekend work is common and some Tuina practitioners make home visits.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is known all over the country and Tuina is an integral part of this therapy. There may be opportunities to join an established practice. Some Tuina practitioners work from home or hire a room at a complementary therapy centre.

Entry Routes and Training

Courses developed by Active Health Foundation adhere strictly to the principles of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, to which they are formally affiliated and students are required to sign up to a Professional Practitioner Code of Ethics and Practice.


Active Health Foundation does not require any specific qualifications to train as a Tuina practitioner. Our course can be studied by adults returning to education after a long time or students who have just completed their leaving certificate or equivalent. We actively seek adults who have an expressed interest in helping others. We also accept people with a professional health care qualification such as nursing. In general we accept adult students with a genuine desire to study complementary medicine.

You can find employment in the rapidly expanding markets such as

  • Healing centers,
  • Health Centers,
  • Sports Injury clinics,
  • Beauty Salons,
  • Hotels,
  • Cruise Ships,
  • Health Spas,
  • Gymnasiums.

We work with people of all ages who may be in good health but suffer from common problems, such as sports injuries, stress related conditions, headaches, PMT, fatigue, insomnia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to name a few.

Want to train as an Tuina Practitioner

You don’t need any expensive equipment …. just your training. We give you the practical training and diagnostic skills you need to offer this effective and practical therapy. We even have a section on marketing strategies – how to present yourself as a Tuina practitioner.

Learn More about Our Tuina Training Course.

We have a very popular "live" online course starting soon especially to train you in the theory of Traditional Chinese Nutritional Therapy.
Going somewhere extremely nice

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.