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Updated: 2014-07-22

Slowly at first, the doctor's hands explored the backbone, as if it circled an invisible line on the patient's neck and back. Gradually, he began a slight push and press with his fingers, shaping out the curve of the spine as the patient lies, eyes closed on the bed.


After five minutes, the joints of the patient's back and neck make a sound. Tui-Na literally means "push" and "grasp" and its invigorating and re-energising style focuses deep pressure and movement along the body's energy and acupuncture meridians.

Dr Diao Wenchang, 73, is a master of Spine Tui-Na, who works at the Diaoshi Health Garden located on 2nd floor, No 16, Jianwai Soho. His specialty is a powerful therapeutic extension of traditional Chinese medicine. Tui-Na makes use of many different strokes that are applied to acupuncture points, channels and muscle groups.

"The sounds that are made through Tui-Na mean the pain of certain bone joints and nerves get relieved," Diao explained.

"By correcting abnormal anatomic location or relation, activating qi and blood flow, and removing stasis along the meridians, Tui-Na relieves the pain or ache and recovers the functionality of muscle, tendon, bone and joint." Of all the parts of human body, the spine is the most important, "because it joins and supports the whole body and seldom gets rest," the doctor said.

"Different points along the backbone reach certain nerves of the whole body like the heart, lung, and so on. So it is an effective way to treat illness by spine Tui-Na," he said.

Having received demanding training as a traditional Chinese medicine doctor and Tui-Na therapist focusing in spine healthcare since he was young, Diao now enjoys professional respect both at home and abroad.

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