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Chinese Massage Therapy

Abhay Burande
The Chinese massage therapy rejuvenates the body and mind by providing pain relief, relaxation, and promotes a sense of total well-being.


Chinese massage therapy is believed to have originated in 2700 BC, which was practiced in tandem with acupuncture, acupressure and usage of various Chinese medicinal herbs. These formed the essential parts of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This massaging practice is called Tui na.
It is said, the principle behind this technique is the fact that, an imbalance in the energies of our bodies, and in the pathways in which they flow, lead to stress, illnesses and certain diseases. These diseases can be cured if the normal and natural flow of these energies is restored. Bodywork, commonly called, massage, is a natural and harmless way to do so.

- Amno, press and rub: used for rejuvenation and maintenance of health.
- Tuina, push and grasp: used for treating injuries, joint and muscle problems and internal disorders.
Tui Na Variants
- Infant Tuina: used for babies and young children.
- Dian Xue, point press: similar to acupressure, certain pressure points are targeted for stress and pain relief.
-Wai Qi Liao Fa, curing with external Qi (energy): healing with direct transmission by Qigong masters who have had years of rigorous training and discipline.

How Does It Work?

The concept is that, massage affects the physical body with the network of energy called Qi body and the mental body i.e. thoughts, emotions and spiritual senses. It is aimed to activate and regulate the network of energy and enhance relaxation that raises flexibility, eases spasms and straightens the joints.
It is assumed that the dearth of free flow of Qi and blood gives rise to pain. The massage causes movement and is a good solution for pain relief. It is generally done on a couch or a stool. It is usually recommended along with certain dietary plans, specific exercises, and herbal medicines.
The different techniques are compression, swing, friction, vibration, percussion, pinching and grasping and joint manipulation.
Techniques Involved
  • Compression: Pressure is applied by the fingers, limbs and palms to execute motions like nipping, pressing, stepping and twisting. This results in relief of muscular stiffness, removal of blockages and promotion of circulation.
  • Friction: Rubbing, pushing, gliding and wiping is carried out to create heat on the body surface and improve the underneath circulation. Rhythmic small circular movements are used for abdominal problems and gross scrubbing motions are used for the chest, limbs and back.
  • Swing: Finger-pushing, kneading and rolling is done. "Pushing with one finger meditation" is a usual technique in TCM massage.
  • Joint manipulation: Rotation, pulling, abducting and adducting actions assist in increasing the range of joint motion and flexibility of the limbs and spine.
  • Percussion: Finger tapping is used on the head, abdomen and chest regions, fist striking is used for the back and palm patting for the waist, hip and limbs.
  • Pinching and grasping: Rhythmic picking up and squeezing of the soft tissues are done by twisting, holding, kneading and pinching with the operator's fingers. If the shoulder is grasped, this enables to resume the flow of Qi in the chest.
  • Vibration: Rapid vibration, shaking and rocking a selected region is done to resume Qi movement, get rid of stagnation and enhance gastrointestinal functioning.
- Stress removal, reduction of depression and anxiety.
- Freedom from headache, backache, bone ache, etc.
Health Benefits
- Aids in faster recovery of certain illnesses and weaknesses.
- Helps to heal tissue and organ injuries by triggering fast cell growth and development.
- Treats the problems of joint and muscle inflexibility or immobility.
- Makes the skin glow and shine by increasing the blood flow.
- Pregnancy massages are specially designed to ease stress and tension in the weight-bearing joints.
Impressed with the goodness of this massage therapy? Then check out your nearest Chinese massage center and enjoy the rejuvenating effects of this therapy to feel relaxed and refreshed. But don't forget to share your experience with us.