Tui-na is a manual therapy that is one of the four branches of Traditional Veterinary Chinese Medicine. From a conventional medicine perspective, Tui-na can be thought of as corresponding to a combination of acupressure, conventional massage, and chiropractic techniques. It can be used to regulate the Channels, soothe joints and sinews, promote circulation of Qi and Blood, strengthen the immune system, and promote normal function of the Zang-Fu organs.
Tui-na is most commonly used to treat acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions and is also useful as a preventative medicine therapy because it promotes balance in the body. It can also be used in conjunction with and to enhance acupuncture and herbal treatments. Dr. Schacher has completed a 45 hour post-doctorate training in the techniques and applications of Tui-na, but several of these techniques can be taught to families and caretakers for in-home treatments. Mo-fa (touching skin and muscle), Rou-fa (rotary kneading), Ca-fa (rubbing), Tui-fa (pushing), An-fa (pressing), Nie-fa (pinching), Dou-fa (shaking), Ba-sheng-fa (stretching) and Cuo-fa (kneading) are all techniques that caretakers can learn and use to accelerate the healing process and deepen the connection with their animals.
The majority of of the pets that we see here at Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice would highly benefit from Tui-Na. Almost all of the senior pets that we see have some degree of mobility concerns – considered Bi Syndrome, Wei Syndrome or Tan-Huan Syndrome in Traditional Veterinary Chinese Medicine. Often, by the time the pet family reaches out to us, they have come close to exhausting the western pain management options that are available. These families often feel helpless because their pet has had a beautiful, happy , spoiled life and now they feel their pet is in a place where there is daily struggle. Teaching pet parents these Chinese medical massage techniques can give them a feeling of empowerment. When families recognize that their pet has limited time left with them, they want to do anything that they are able to do, that gives quality to these final days. A family member being able to use their hands to help improve their pet’s total body comfort, not only is valuable to the pet, but it helps strengthen their human animal bond.
If you have a pet you think would benefit from Tui-na, integrative medicine, and/or a palliative care consultation, please contact Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice, In-Home Euthanasia, and Integrative Medicine at 757-474-5968.