What Is Chinese Massage?

Young woman having massage
A young woman receives a Tui Na massage. (Image: Top Photo Corporation/Top Photo Group/Getty Images)

Ancient Chinese experts and practitioners believe that energy in the body has to flow continuously to help an individual to relieve stress and prevent diseases. There are two kinds of traditional Chinese massage: the "Tui na" and the "Zhi Ya." The techniques between the two differ, but people will experience renewed strength and vigor after a session lasting at least 30 minutes. Chinese massage has become widely used around the globe.

Chinese Massage Basics

Man receiving acupuncture on hand, close-up
Chinese massage is closely related to acupuncture. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Chinese massage is closely related to acupuncture and focuses on channels or energy points that will effectively transport and guide blood and energy, or "qi," throughout the body. The aim is to achieve balance to protect the person against different types of infection and maintain the optimum function of all organs. When the channels are impeded or blocked, the person experiences pain and is prone to health problems. The masseuse can identify which pathways are blocked and need pressure. A May 2013 study by the American Massage Therapy Association showed that regular massages can treat different serious illnesses like chronic low-back pain, cardiovascular problems and rheumatoid arthritis.

Chinese Massage Techniques

Massage stones
Tui na and Zhi Ya aim to achieve yin and yang. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Tui na involves stretching, kneading and pushing the muscles, while Zhi Ya involves pressing and pinching acupressure points to relieve stress and pain. Each technique is based on therapeutic principles with relative effects such as stimulating the body to release more hormones, regulating blood flow or boosting energy or recovery. "Shou fa" or hand techniques are further categorized into sedating techniques or "yin" and stimulating techniques or "yang." The idea is to balance both yin and yang to achieve full health.

Benefits of Chinese Massage

Masseuse with man
Chinese massage relieves pain, boosts immunity and prevents illness. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Chinese massage therapy provides pain relief from sore and injured muscles. The techniques improve blood flow to areas, which facilitates health and gets rid of lactic acid buildup. The techniques also help produce a calm and relaxing mood. It is a great way for people to rejuvenate and soothe themselves psychologically from stress. Regular massage sessions boost immunity and prevent the body from developing degenerative diseases, which usually involve the muscles, internal organs and bones. According to a study published in the "Archives of Disease in Childhood" in 2012, patients showed significant improvements in their conditions after application of such techniques.

Chinese Massage for Healing

Woman receiving massage
A 30-minute massage promotes healing. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Boosting blood flow and circulation to different pressure points in the body will facilitate healing and hasten recovery. People can revitalize their bodies by going for a 30- to 60-minute massage once or twice a month. A September 2010 study in the "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine" showed that massage therapy enhances muscle repair and recovery. People who are suffering from problems like hypertension, diabetes, muscular diseases and infection can also speed recovery through Chinese massage techniques. Some approaches can be beneficial for lung problems and heart conditions.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.