Forms of Chinese Massage
Some of the main concepts in various forms of Chinese massage include:
- Qi: Basic life energy which circulates throughout the body and animates the world as a whole.
- Jing Luo: A network of energy pathways or meridians which connect and balance the body’s organs. When blocked, such that qi cannot circulate in the bloodstream, jing luo manifests in physical pain.
- Xue: Acupoints which connect through the meridians to different organs in the body and which can be manipulated to redirect and unblock qi.
- Jin: The body’s soft, connective tissues which affect the flow of qi and which Chinese massage relaxes.
Chinese Massage Techniques
To jumpstart, free, and regulate the activity of qi, Chinese massage therapists use any of the following techniques:
Pushing, stretching, pressing, squeezing, kneading, knuckle-rolling, digging, plucking, hammering, knocking, vibrating, and treading on the body with their feet. To help release stored-up emotions, some forms of Chinese massage encourage clients to talk during the session.
Xiao er tui na, or Chinese pediatric message, specifically addresses the needs of children, whose energy system differs from adults as they have fewer emotional and physical barriers, making qi easier to treat. Pediatric Chinese massage sessions are shorter, the acupoints used are different, and massage oils are often applied. Parents can be taught the basic techniques of pediatric massage, which had been used to address conditions such as teething, bedwetting, nightmares, colic, fever, asthma, and the common cold.
Chinese Massage Benefits
Benefits of a Chinese massage include:
- Stimulates circulation
- Regulates the nervous system
- Relieves chronic pain
- Increases flexibility
- Improves posture
- Helps heal illnesses affecting the internal organs
- Strengthens the body’s resistance to disease
- Eases emotional distress
- Provides preventive care