Chinese massage is referred to a group of therapeutic massages practised within traditional Chinese medicine. It uses techniques that promote holistic health by promoting free flow of energy, or “qi” throughout the body. In Chinese medicine, massage is one of the primary modes of treatment, in association with herbal medicine, dietary regulation, acupuncture and qigong (therapeutic exercises).
Chinese massage is a holistic healing practice that affects the person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The emphasis of Chinese massage therapy lies on movement and in communication between the therapist and the patient. The aim of the therapy is to remove blockages to allow free flow of energy, and enhanced blood circulation. Chinese massage uses a variety of techniques including pressing, knuckle-rolling, squeezing, kneading, digging, dragging, plucking, tweaking, hammering, pushing, stretching, vibrating, knocking and even foot treading on the body.
Techniques of Chinese Massage
The major types of Chinese massages are Tui Na, Zhi Ya, Xiao Er Tui Na and An Mo. These techniques aim to restore balance and stimulate the body’s internal healing mechanism for overall health and wellness by enabling free flow of “qi” all over the body.
Here’s a brief of the various Chinese massage.
Tui Na – The Tui Na is similar to deep tissue therapy as it uses vigorous techniques. The therapist uses stretching, kneading and chopping motions to ease pain and remove blockages in the muscular system. Tui Na can treat varied health conditions including sprains, arthritis, muscle pull, sciatica, lower back pain, tendonitis and also internal organ disorders.
Zhi Ya – The Zhi Ya is based on acupressure, and comparable to techniques of reflexology and qigong. Practitioners of Zhi Ya use pressing and pinching techniques on acupressure points to relieve muscle tension. This message therapy is specially applied to relieve muscle tension, improve blood circulation and promote free flow of energy that aids the healing process.
Xiao Er Tui Na – The Xiao Er Tui Na is the Chinese form of pediatric message. It’s similar to Tui Na massage, but adapted to meet the special needs of children up to the age of 12 years. A massage oil, usually sesame oil, is used in Chinese pediatric massage. Also, the massage sessions are short, typically 15-20 minutes. The Xiao Er Tui Na is used for treating chronic conditions like asthma, nightmares, and even for teething, nausea, fever, cold and constipation.
An Mo – An Mo is a relaxing massage, focused on maintaining good health and restoring energy. The technique uses pressing and rubbing movement to relax and strengthen the joints. The therapist follows a set pattern of movements, which can be altered to suit patient’s requirement. This message therapy soothes and calms the body due to free flow of “qi”, the life energy.
Benefits of Chinese massage
The Chinese massage is a form of deep tissue therapy with healing properties. Part of ancient Chinese medicine, the Chinese massage therapy is not intended to be a pampering experience.
Here are few reasons why you should incorporate Chinese massage into your life.
Speedy recovery from pain and stiffness
Chinese massage is popular due to its ability to heal body pain. People suffering from stiff lower back, frozen shoulders and pain related to sciatica, experience pain relief. Massaging the soft tissues in these areas improves blood circulation resulting in reduced stiffness and easing of pain.
A Chinese massage practitioner uses the right massage technique to enhance the “yang” energy or reduce the “yin” energy. This massage brings inner peace and improves sleep quality, leaving you with renewed energy.
Improves range of mobility
Massage therapy used in association with physical therapy help people with stiff joints. The therapist massages specific tissues around joints that reduces soreness and stiffness from past injuries.
Improves blood circulation
The “push and pull” techniques have a positive effect on the circulatory system. It helps in reducing blood pressure due to expansion of the arteries. Popular techniques used to stimulate and enhance blood flow includes hand techniques like perpendicular pressure and rolling fist.
People with emotional problems like anxiety and depression, find this massage therapy supportive and calming. The healing massage movements help in reducing muscular stress and improving sleep quality. It also helps to remove energy block thought to be responsible for underlying stress and tensions.
Chinese massage techniques are meant to be healing and relaxing. Although the massage techniques involve pinching, pressing, pulling and stretching, it should not be painful. So, communication with the therapist is crucial along with the movements to optimize the experience.