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Massage Therapy in China
Posted In: Information and Theories  3/22/09
By: Yona Williams

With a history that traces back to around 2700 BCE, ancient Chinese text reveals that the medical benefits of massage therapy were recognized early on. The tradition of massage therapy in China evolved from the knowledge and approaches of doctors practicing traditional Chinese medicine to include the beliefs of martial artists, Buddhists and Taoists.

It wasn't long before the art of massage started to involve the views of spiritual yoga and the achievement of relaxation through touch.

In regards to Chinese massage, we know that methods have come from the principle that diseases and illnesses develop when a body is stricken with a deficit or imbalance in the energy traveling through specific pathways or meridians linked to physiological systems. Massage and other bodywork techniques, practitioners believe that energy can once again flow in harmony to the specified pathways. This will allow the body to heal on its own in a natural manner.

There are a handful of techniques associated with Chinese massage, which includes compression, swing, friction, vibration, percussion, pinching and grasping and joint manipulation. For example, compression is achieved with the fingers, palms of the hands, and other body parts are used to apply pressure to the body. As a result, patients feel relief from stiff muscles. Circulation improves and blockages in the system are removed.

One of the most popular forms of Chinese massage therapy is called Tui Na, which is categorized as a method of traditional Chinese medicine (also known as TCM). Offering a complete system of healing, Tui Na is broken down into five parts:

1) Amno, press and rub, is used to rejuvenate the body, as well as maintain good health. 2) Babies and young children are treated with Infant Tuina. 3) Tuina, push and grasp, aids people who have been injured, suffer joint and muscle problems, and treats internal disorders 4) Dian Xue, point press, utilizes methods that mirror acupressure. 5) With Wai Qi Liao Fa, curing with external qi (better known as energy), a practitioner will concentrate on healing a patient by relying on an approach learned from years of intense training and discipline.

It is also not uncommon to see massage treatments paired with herbal remedies and dietary therapy. When it comes to Chinese massage therapy, other techniques include amno, acupuncture and acupressure.

·    Anmo: Anmo massage can provide a balanced treatment that tends to the full body. Just one session of Anmo massage can last for up to two hours. During that time, Yang techniques work towards eliminating the stagnant qi, as well as activate flow. Yin techniques focus on producing a calming and relaxing experience.

·    Acupuncture: With this method of Chinese massage, fine metallic needles are used to pierce the skin in an attempt to stimulate specific points of the body, called acupoints.

·    Acupressure: With the help of a trained therapist, the fingertips, knuckles or other special instruments, are used to stimulate various points of energy meridians located on the body. By pressing on these points, a patient can gain relief from pain and stress.

If you are interested in learning more about the principles and techniques of administering Chinese massage, consider the article titled, "Chinese Massage: Exploring Principles & Techniques."


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