Are you not a little curious about Chinese medicine, especially the field of massage with its uses and benefits?
With millions of users worldwide, traditional Chinese Medicine transcends generations, cultures and countries to provide people with vital health benefits every day.
Massage therapy has been a central part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years, with records dating back 2 centuries BC. Contrary to deep tissue massage or to Sports massage, which focuses on releasing knots and muscle tension by targeting blood flow to areas, Chinese massage techniques also aim to promote overall health by facilitating the flow of energy or Qi around the body.
Our guide explains everything you need to know about Chinese massage and its techniques and benefits in detail.
Traditional Chinese massage
According to Catherine Tremblay’s website, Chinese medicine massage therapist, any imbalance can be resolved in the theory of this medicine. It is defined as a therapy interested in the disorders of the human body; he conceives the human body as a coherent system to which the energy flow connects each part, organ or system.
The term Chinese massage is an inadequate term because there is no such thing as traditional Chinese medicine, and it is not really a massage in the purest sense either. What it really is is Tui Na, which means “push and pull .”
It is more accurately described as therapeutic Asian bodywork, and it involves twisting, pulling, twisting, pushing, kneading, so it’s not just about relaxing muscles or relaxing someone under stress.
Chinese massage therapy is part of traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, it largely maintains the same principles. So, there is a wide range of knowledge bases that fall under Traditional Chinese Medicine, and all these different techniques are how they heal the body.
Today, Chinese massage is quite widely accepted as an alternative or complementary treatment for various ailments.
Chinese massage is based on the principle of Qi or vital energy
Traditional Chinese Medicine massage therapists use their elbows, fingers, and hands to rhythmically stimulate acupuncture points, producing a vibration that influences the flow of energy through the body. Since the energy points correspond to our organs, a quality Chinese massage session positively affects our physical well-being.
Massage techniques, which include kneading, chopping, rubbing, or pressing against the skin, are all meant to help balance and unblock the body’s channels so that Qi can flow naturally.
Qi (chi) refers to the life energy or the flow of energy inside every living being.
It is a holistic philosophy that permeates many elements of Chinese culture, from martial arts to calligraphy. Even if you don’t directly believe in Eastern philosophies, you can understand this principle as the desire to find a sense of calm and balance in your daily life.
Traditional Chinese Medicine states that the body has its own natural patterns of Qi that flow through channels, called meridians. Imbalances and blockages in these channels and Qi deficiencies in key organs cause symptoms of many diseases. Imbalances can be gently corrected through various techniques, including nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, and massage.
What are the benefits of Chinese massage?
Chinese massage is an alternative therapy widely used around the world. There are many benefits of incorporating Chinese massage into your life.
1. Relieves pain
A few studies have been done on the effect of therapy on neck pain and lower back pain. For the record, this is one of the most common reasons people seek Chinese massage.
One study showed that a group of patients with chronic neck pain significantly improved their condition with regular treatments over a period of a few weeks. Another group showed less back pain when they received a Chinese massage paired with basic exercises. And a final group focused on carpal tunnel syndrome, where the recovery rate of study participants reached 81% when combined with acupuncture.
2. Increase your energy level
Whether you need to ramp up your energy (yang) or slow down your energy (yin ‘), a massage therapist knows what vigorous or relaxing techniques to apply to help you regain inner peace. Chinese massage can also help improve the quality of your sleep, leaving you ready to face a new day with renewed enthusiasm.
3. Speeds up recovery from soft tissue injuries
If you experience pain or stiffness related to your lower back, frozen shoulder, or sciatica, soft tissue massage increases blood flow, leading to stiffness relief and pain reduction.
Chinese massage therapy is often used alongside physiotherapy to aid the recovery process. One study showed that it reduced inflammation when applied to skeletal muscle after injury, resulting in better recovery speed and performance.
4. Improves your blood circulation
The main meridians of the body also run along with the cardiovascular system, which means that Qi has physiological links with healthy circulation. Hand techniques, including perpendicular pressure and rolling fist, stimulate and re-energize blood circulation.
Chinese massage can indeed improve your blood circulation. When you push and pull, you tell your body to bring more blood to the massage area. And when you do this right, your blood pressure goes down, not because there is less fluid in your system, but because your arteries dilate.
5. Supports emotional health
Supported by its philosophy of balance, Healing Touch Massage can be a particularly supportive and refreshing therapy for those feeling down or overwhelmed. On a physical level, muscle relaxation can reduce stress and promote sleep, while energy blockages can hold emotional tensions in the body that can contribute to anxiety and depression.
In one study, patients with Parkinson’s disease, which is a condition that often leads to poor coordination, leading to imbalance and frequent falls, showed that after three months of regular Chinese massage, their overall performance s ‘improved dramatically, even more than the strength training and stretching groups in the study.
What are the Chinese therapeutic massage techniques?
A highly trained Chinese medicine massage therapist can use any of the following to target your problems. It does this with different intensities and orders:
- Palpate (mo)
- Join (Jie)
- To oppose (duan)
- Rise (ti)
- Press (an)
- Knead (mo)
- Push (tui)
- Hold (a)
In traditional Chinese medicine, there are several types of Chinese massage and here are the most famous:
Chinese massage Tuina or Tui Na
The Tui Na is the most popular Chinese massages and has some similarities to a deep tissue massage. It uses kneading, chopping and stretching movements to relieve sore spots and blockages in the body’s muscular system.
It is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbs, cupping, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. This massage is used in many hospitals in China as the first and only choice of health care.
This Chinese massage follows acupressure points, which are the same as acupuncture points. Points are targets throughout the body found around groups of nerve endings, mast cells, lymphatics, and capillaries, all capable of triggering biochemical and physiological changes in the body.
When the massage therapist works these points, whether, with acupressure or acupuncture, two main things happen
1. You create an endogenous release of opiates so that your body releases its own natural and wellness chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine, and opiates.
2. You modulate downward sympathetic upregulation, which means you deny your fight-or-flight response.
There is an array of techniques used, such as kneading, probing, chopping, perpendicular pressure, and punching, which the massage therapist uses to remove tension or spasms in the muscles and Qi blockages in the channels.
This makes Tui Na a complete massage because it has two aspects:
- First of all, just like Western massages, it works the muscles by helping them relax, removing stagnation and allowing blood to flow more freely throughout the area, giving the muscle the optimum chance to repair itself.
- Due to his oriental origins, he works to restore the balance of Qi. Chinese Tui Na massage relies on certain acupressure points in the body’s meridian system to stimulate the body’s healing process.
After the Tui Na massage therapist has assessed your condition and explained Tui Na, the treatment is done. You are either lying or sitting, depending on your condition or age and, in the case of women, whether they are pregnant.
It is not necessary to take off your clothes, only your coat, shoes and jewelry. You are covered with a cotton sheet, as this facilitates the techniques used. Therapeutic oils are only used on the hands, feet and neck. After the treatment, the massage therapist can offer you exercise and stretch, diet and lifestyle advice if requested.
Chinese relaxing massage or acupressure
It is said that acupressure is an alternative medicine technique similar to that of acupuncture.
It is mainly based on the concepts of vital energy that flows through the meridians of the body. Physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points during a Chinese massage to remove blockages in these meridians. Pressure can be applied by the hands, elbow, and various other devices.
As with any form of massage, a huge benefit of acupressure is relaxation, which you can achieve even if you doubt the existence of meridians. Acupressure is often used for pain relief, and studies have suggested that it can help with back pain, period cramps, and headaches. The practice is used for many other purposes that have been less studied, including the immune system and supporting digestion.
Some studies have suggested that acupressure applied by a massage therapist is an effective tool for managing nausea and vomiting. It also helps a patient to get rid of lower back pain, tension headache, upset stomach.
The acupuncture points used in the treatment may or may not be in the same body as the targeted symptom. The theory of traditional Chinese medicine for selecting these points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian system to provide relief by rebalancing the yin, yang and Qi.
Acupuncture is a Chinese massage.
Obviously, acupuncture is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, so it is often used along with Chinese massage and other treatments.
Depending on the diagnosis and recommendation from your massage therapist, you may have a combination of these two treatments with additional techniques. But they can be used independently. So if you don’t want to try acupuncture and your massage therapist believes you can benefit from the principles, then Chinese massage is not for you.
Chinese facial massage or Gua Sha
The Gua Sha is a facial for skincare, and this Chinese massage is used to improve circulation and expel stagnant toxins developed in the body. It is used tenderly on the skin of the face, neck and can also be used all over the body.
The technique involves scraping off toxins using the Gua Sha tool. This age-old technique is the secret to glowing, flawless and anti-ageing skin. Technically, a Gua Sha facial treatment involves scraping the skin using flat jade or rose quartz stone in upward strokes to relax muscles and promote tissue drainage.
The benefits of Gua Sga massage
- A natural facelift therapy
- Increases the flow of supplemental rich and oxygenated blood to the skin and tissues
- Drains lymphatic fluid out of cells
- Tightens the skin, reducing the first signs of ageing
- Lifts sagging skin and stimulate collagen production for elasticity
- Help reduce dark circles around the eyes
- Amplifies skin lightening, reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation
- Promotes skin recovery after rashes and pimples
Chinese foot and hand massage or reflexology
Chinese massage techniques are used in a wide range of treatments, including reflexology massage and energizing massages. As these types of massage can be used in many different ways, it is important to make sure that you receive the right treatment for your personal goals, so always discuss your needs with your massage therapist for advice.
Although Chinese massage may involve pressure or pinching when releasing blockages, it should never be so intense that it becomes painful. It would help if you left your treatment feeling refreshed and revitalized, and you may find that the benefits are cumulative over multiple appointments.
What to expect from Chinese massage?
Like most western massages, Tui Na sessions usually take place on a massage table. Techniques such as sliding, kneading and rolling are used to provide a relaxing and medicinal experience. Loose clothing is recommended for comfort.
Each session focuses on a specific region of the body.
To begin with, the massage therapist will ask you if you have any physical discomfort or health issues.
It then begins with slow movements to stimulate blood circulation and speed up the pace along the way. By manipulating soft tissues and stimulating specific energy points, it aims to loosen the tensions accumulated in the body. Due to the repetitive movements along the problem area, you may feel slight pain.
It’s also common for the massage therapist to correct the alignment of your spine by twisting and cracking a few bones here and there.
Choose massage therapists who are attentive to your situation.
If you want a unique massage to relax or free yourself from your pain, discomfort, pain or suffering, isn’t it wise and sensible to turn to massage therapists who know what you are doing? Live?