By Susan Kansky
My Introduction to Qigong Tui Na
The first course I took with Bruce Frantzis was a weekly class in Qigong Tui Na (Chi Gung Tui Na) in San Francisco in 1989. I had a private
practice in Palo Alto, California
doing various kinds of Asian Bodywork Therapy at the time and I was studying Qigong in San Jose.
I have been very curious about different healing modalities and energy
development practices since I was teenager. I like to check out different
In Bruce’s classes I saw and experienced how quickly QigongTui Na can specifically target and release energy blockages throughout the
body. I was impressed and immediately hooked. I went on to study the whole Qigong program and Tai Chi with Bruce. I have incorporated Qiogng Tui Na into
my hands-on energetic bodywork practice ever since.
In my experience, Qigong Tui Na works well for a broad variety of physical, structural, stress related
and energetic imbalances. I have many case examples to illustrate.
Experience Practicing Qigong Tui Na
Several years ago, I worked with a man who had fallen off an 80 foot scaffold and landed on concrete. He
had pain throughout his body, despite completing a series of physical therapy
sessions. I thought that Qigong Tui Na would be a good technique to use since
it would help to reconnect the disturbed flow of energy at the core channel
level that runs through the center of the joints and bones.
In a series of six sessions, the pain in his body moved progressively out of his body, moving from
the torso out the five extremities of the hands, feet and head. Achyness and
pain was released from his organs out the extremities as well. He felt pain
free after six sessions.
Once I worked with a man who limped into the office just minutes after breaking his leg. I started with above
the body techniques based on Dragon and Tiger Qigong to balance out the flow
of energy in the meridian lines. After about a minute, we heard a loud crack as
his bone adjusted itself back into place. I then finished with pulsing the
joints of the leg, first the ankle, knee and then hip to stabilize the core
flow of energy in the leg. He walked out of the office with no limp and no
Recently, I worked with a man who had badly broken his ankle 25 years earlier where the tendons had to be
reattached. It was not much of a problem until recently. Doctors were
suggesting ankle replacement surgery. He found that wearing shoes with
cushioned soles helped a lot. I pulsed the ankle joint, clearing the stiffness
in the affected quadrants of the joint. After one session of Qigong Tui Na,
the mobility in the ankle joint tremendously increased to almost as much
mobility as the other ankle. Before the session, the joint was very stiff and
afterwards there was a lot of springiness in the ankle joint.
Combining Qigong Tui Na and Other Healing Modalities
When I lived in Scottsdale, Arizona I developed and directed a two-year degree program in Asian Bodywork,
as well as 500-hour and 200-hour Qigong Tui Na, Zen Shiatsu, and Jin Shin
Jyutsu acupressure diploma and certificate programs and a 100-hour Qigong
program. I taught Qigong Tui Na for over 10 years primarily to Asian bodywork
practitioners, massage therapists and lay people. Ortho-Bionomy is an
osteopathic based structural and energy balancing system developed by a British
My Asian bodywork students found that Qigong Tui Na and Zen Shiatsu blended very well together. My
students would often use Qigong Tui Na for integration at the end of a
session because Qigong Tui Na opens all the energy layers including the superficially
located meridian lines, deeper spiraling pathways, and core channels in the
joints and bones, thus stabilizing the changes throughout the whole system.
Pumping the limbs is a quick and easy technique to use for integration. Clients
report deep relaxation during and after sessions because it relaxes the nervous
system and opens the pathway for stress to release out the extremities.
My students and I have found that Qigong Tui Na complements the structural balancing techniques of
Ortho-Bionomy really well. The unwinding techniques release the imbalances in
the muscles, fascia, and connective tissues that pull the joints out of
alignment. The pulsing techniques restore the spring, mobility, alignment and
health of the joints, including the spine. Ortho-Bionomy or other bodywork
techniques can be incorporated in a Qigong Tui Na session to clear tension
from tight spots that would take longer to clear using the basic Qigong Tui
Simple Qigong exercises are great to teach clients to assist structural
integration after the sessions. I usually teach simple components of Energy
Gates Qigong movements that we learn as preparatory exercises to the complete
movements of Energy Gates, such as kwa squats, or twisting or pumping the arms
with the arms parallel.
I have a good sense of how Qigong Tui Na compares with other healing modalities because I have studied
many different styles of bodywork and energywork and experienced many more as a
receiver. The Western bodywork systems I have seen focus on systems of the body
separately, such as the myo-fascial system, cerebrospinal system, structural
alignment and posture, acupuncture meridian system, nervous system, mobility of
the joints, or internal organs.
What I find unique about Qigong Tui Na is the way it clears patterns from the muscles, fascia, connective tissue, tendons,
ligaments, nerves, joints, internal organs, meridian lines and core energetic
levels all in one session with one integrated comprehensive system. I often do
some Qigong after a Western bodywork session to integrate the effects of work
on that one system within the whole. As a result, I find that the results of
the session last longer.
Learning Qigong Tui Na
If you are interested in learning Qigong Tui Na I recommend also learning Qigong to develop your
ability to feel energy more sensitively and to have a way of clearing yourself
between clients. Dragon and Tiger Qigong is a good place to start. It is
excellent for quickly improving your ability to feel energy deep inside the
body and in the energy field. It is also a wonderful set to do between clients
to keep your energy level higher than your clients and to clear out any unwanted
energy you may have picked up. Dragon and Tiger Qigong is excellent for energy
workers, acupuncturists, body workers, psychotherapists and physicians to
prevent practitioner burnout.
I have found my Qigong Tui Na and Qigong practice complement each other well.
Progress I make in my Qigong practice shows up in my Qigong Tui Na sessions as a greater
ability to feel subtle imbalances and quicker results. The awareness of internal blockages
and how various areas of the body interrelate has increased my internal
awareness in my own Qigong practice. I also am better able to help my Qigong students with their specific issues.
Susan Kansky has 7,500 hours of training in Asian Bodywork, Energy Medicine, and Chinese health exercises. She has been teaching Chi Gung and Asian bodywork since 1986.