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Chinese Massage: Exploring Principles & Techniques Part 1

From applying pressure to a certain point of the body to applying heat to a kink in your back, an array of techniques help practitioners of ancient Chinese massage to heal their patients. In this article, we will take a look at some of the underlying principles regarding Chinese massage therapy, as well as some of the general techniques, including compression and friction.

The fundamental principle of Chinese massage therapy is called jing luo (channels and collaterals), which deals with the network of pathways throughout the body responsible for transporting qi and blood, which regulates the yin and yang. As a result, one can evade external pathogens. When the jing luo becomes blocked, an individual will experience pain. Health problems usually follow.

Chinese massage techniques are used to have an effect on the jing luo, such as activating qi and blood (which elevates the status of activity), regulating qi and blood (which overcomes a stagnant flow), and searching the channels to eliminate external pathogens.

The Benefits of Chinese Massage

There is a great deal of benefits associated with Chinese massage therapy, which makes it a sought after method of treatment for many patients. This branch of massage therapy has been known to treat headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS), migraines, constipation, and PMS. Patients suffering from neck, shoulder and back pain enjoy relief. Other medical concerns that Chinese massage helps include emotional issues, stiff muscles, sciatica (nerve pain), muscle injuries, chronic pain, and tennis elbow.

Chinese Massage Techniques

In order to achieve results in Chinese massage, a variety of techniques are used, which you will find a brief mention of each below:

Compression: Great results have been accomplished with the help of compression, which relies on the fingers, limbs and palms of the hands to create pressure. Some of the motions that a practitioner may use during this technique include nipping, pressing, stepping and twisting. Patients who battle stiff muscles, blocked arteries, and poor circulation will enjoy results.

Cupping: Relying on the placement of small jars or cups, a practitioner will treat the skin to a vacuum-like journey that eliminates the air in the cup by inserting a burning cotton ball into the jar. Once the air has escaped the cup is immediately placed onto the skin. During modern times, cups made for this technique already offer a device that allows a therapist to pump out the air before attaching to the skin. Cupping is used to treat the common cold, flu, stomach ailments and rheumatism. Sometimes, the treatment is paired with an oil massage. Once the body has achieved a state of relaxation, the cups are transported about other points of the body, including the upper arms, shoulders, lower back, and close to the spine.