Massage therapy has become a part of our daily life. Today, almost everyone has experienced some kind of massage at least once. The benefits of massage therapy include relaxation, stress relief, pain management, and even improved athletic performance. Here we are going to discuss Ancient Chinese Massage in detail.
Massage therapy is a form of bodywork that involves applying pressure to certain areas of the body using hands or various tools such as kneaders, vibrators, rollers, and other devices. This technique was originally developed in ancient China and India.
“Massage Therapy” is a term used to describe the practice of rubbing, stroking, kneading, and/or pressing specific parts of the human body (usually muscles) with the intent of promoting health and well-being. Also, read How To Prepare For A Massage [10 Tips].
What is Ancient Chinese Massage
As the name clarifies, ancient Chinese massage has been practiced in China for a long time, but now this type of massage is also being practiced all around the world.
In fact, this type of massage is very popular among celebrities. Celebrities prefer to have their bodies massaged by experts because they know that this will help them relax after a tiring day.
What exactly is it? How does it differ from other forms of massage?
The ancient art of Chinese massage dates back thousands of years. This form of bodywork focuses on the treatment of muscles, tendons, and joints. It involves the use of various techniques such as acupressure, shiatsu, and reflexology.
Chinese massage uses pressure points along the body to stimulate energy flow. There are several types of massage depending on where the pressure is applied.
Benefits of Ancient Chinese Massage
There are many benefits of having an expert perform your massage. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Relaxation: One of the best things about getting a professional massage is that you get to relax completely. You can enjoy a deep state of meditation while someone else is giving you a complete body massage.
- Pain Relief: If you’re suffering from any sort of chronic condition like arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc., then you should definitely consider getting a massage. A good massage therapist will be able to relieve your tension through the application of different techniques.
- Improved Circulation: When blood flows properly throughout the entire body, we feel better, look younger and live longer. Getting regular massages helps improve circulation.
- Accelerated Healing: As mentioned earlier, when blood flows properly, healing happens faster. In addition, the release of toxins from the body is helpful.
- Increased Energy Levels: If you’ve been feeling tired lately, then you should definitely consider having a massage done. Your energy levels will increase significantly after a session of massage.
- Better Sleep: Did you ever notice how much more relaxed you feel after a good night’s sleep? Well, there’s a reason why! Sleeping is one of the best ways to rejuvenate yourself. After a full night of rest, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the new day with renewed vigor.
- Reduced Stress: Many people find themselves stressed out all the time. They don’t even realize it until something triggers a reaction inside them. Having a massage therapy session once every week or two can reduce stress dramatically.
- Healthier Skin: We already know that massage improves circulation. But did you know that it also increases the amount of oxygen reaching the skin cells? This means that your skin will glow and look healthier than before.
- Soreness Reduction: Sometimes, our muscles hurt just from doing too much at work or playing sports. That’s why it’s important to keep ourselves active and healthy. Regular exercise and massage sessions go hand-in-hand.
- Weight Loss: Have you ever noticed how much weight you lose when you’re sick? Well, if you’ve never experienced this phenomenon, then you should try it soon. Massaging your sore muscles regularly can help you shed those extra pounds.
Types of Ancient Chinese Massage
You may wonder what types of massages exist in China. There are actually several kinds of traditional Chinese massages available for you to choose from. Some of these include:
- Shiatsu: This form of massage focuses mainly on pressure points along the meridians (energy channels). It aims to balance the flow of Qi (life force) within the human body. The practitioner uses his/her fingers to apply pressure on specific areas of the body.
- Jin Shin Jyutsu: This type of massage technique was developed by Dr. Joseph Loizzo. It involves applying gentle pressure to trigger points located along the meridians. These points have special properties that stimulate the internal organs and promote their natural functions.
- Tui Na:This is an acupressure massage technique. Acupuncture needles are inserted into certain key points along the meridian lines. Pressure is applied to stimulate the acupoints.
- Tui Na Shiatsu: This is another form of acupressure massage. Instead of using acupuncture needles, practitioners use their hands to press on the acupoints along the meridians of the body.
- Reflexology: Reflexology is based on the theory that each part of the body corresponds to a particular area on the feet. By pressing on various parts of the foot, the corresponding areas of the body receive stimulation.
- Reflexology has been practiced for thousands of years. In fact, reflexologists claim that it dates back to the times of Ancient Egypt. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that this system works well because the feet correspond directly to the entire body.
Chinese reflexology is used to treat many different conditions. For example, it can be used to cure insomnia, relieve pain, improve blood circulation, and reduce anxiety.
- Acupressure: Acupressure is a simple yet effective method of stimulating acupoints. It’s similar to reflexology but without the need for any instruments.
Acupressure is believed to date back as far as the Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C.). Today, acupressure is widely used around the world.
What is a Chinese Massage called?
A traditional Chinese massage is also known as a “tui na” or “shiatsu” massage. These terms were coined by Dr. Joseph Loizos, who introduced them to the West in the 1950s.
The word “massage” comes from the Latin word meaning “to rub.” Many cultures across the globe have used this practice for centuries. However, the term “massage therapy” wasn’t popularized until the 1930s. In China, people refer to all forms of massage as tui na. People often call shiatsu massage as jin shin jyutsu. However, both terms are interchangeable.
How Does Chinese Massage Work?
The main goal of any massage is to relax the client. A good masseuse will know which techniques to use to achieve this goal.
Traditional Chinese massage techniques aim to soothe the muscles and ease tension. They’re designed to help clients feel more relaxed.
There are several methods of relaxation:
- Deep breathing
- Guided imagery
- Tai chi
Most traditional Chinese massages involve the following steps:
Step 1: The therapist first assesses the client’s condition. He/she determines whether the client needs a full-body massage or just a head massage.
Step 2: Once he/she knows what kind of massage they’ll provide, the therapist begins by washing his/her hands with warm water and soap. Then, he/she applies a thin layer of oil on the client’s skin.
Step 3: Next, the therapist places his/her hands on the client’s body. He/she uses his/her fingers, palms, thumbs, elbows, knees, toes, etc., to apply pressure to specific points on the client’s body until he/she feels comfortable enough to move on.
Step 4: After determining where there are knots in the client’s muscles, the therapist carefully manipulates those areas using various strokes. This helps loosen up the muscle fibers.
Step 5: Finally, the therapist moves to other parts of the client’s body.
Step 6: To finish the session, the therapist cleans himself/herself off with a towel. Also, read Should I Shower Before OR After A Massage?
10 Different Types of Traditional Chinese Massage
Traditional Chinese Massage has multiple effects types and some important types of traditional Chinese Massage are discussed below.
1. Foot Reflexology
This technique was developed by Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American physician who studied Oriental Medicine.
Foot reflexology involves applying pressure to certain foot zones that correspond to different organs in your body. It’s said to be beneficial for relieving stress, reducing pain, improving circulation, promoting healing, and balancing energy flow.
Foot reflexology can be done at home or in a professional setting. Here are some benefits you may experience after doing it yourself:
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves sleep
- Relieves headaches
- Promotes self-healing
- Helps prevent illness
- Helps reduce blood pressure
Shiatsu massage originated in Japan. It’s based on Japanese acupressure.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), shiatsu is one of the most common types of alternative medicine worldwide.
It’s believed to improve mental health, relieve stress, and promote overall well-being.
Here are some benefits you might enjoy after receiving a shiatsu massage:
- Mental clarity
- Improved mood
- Increased energy levels
- Better sleep quality
- Lower blood pressure
- Enhanced immune system function
- Reduced inflammation
3. Swedish Massage
Swedish massage has been practiced since the 17th century. It’s also called effleurage, friction massage, petrissage, or kneading massage.
Swedish massage is known to help relax tense muscles and improve circulation. The main purpose of this type of massage is to ease tightness, tension, soreness, stiffness, and fatigue. You may feel relaxed after a Swedish massage. Some people even report feeling euphoric after getting one!
Here are some benefits of a Swedish massage:
- Eases back pain
- Relaxes stiff joints
- Enhances blood circulation
- Increases flexibility
- Aids relaxation
4. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage, except that it focuses more on deeper layers of muscles. In contrast to Swedish massage, which primarily works on superficial muscles, deep tissue massage targets all the way down to the bone.
Some people say that deep tissue massage improves mobility, relieves chronic pain, and promotes better digestion.
5. Sports Massage
Sports massage is used to treat injuries and prepare athletes for competition. The goal of sports massage is to enhance performance while helping clients recover from injury. Sports massage is exclusively for players and it can include stretching, rubbing, and massage of concerned body parts. The benefits of sports massage are, boosting energy levels, relaxing, relieving pain, etc.
6. Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage is a form of massage therapy that combines heat and pressure.
It’s performed with smooth, heated stones. The stones are placed at specific points on the client’s body. Then, the therapist moves them around to stimulate the area.
7. Thai Massage
Thai massage is a traditional Asian practice that uses gentle touch and stretches to clear blockages in the body and release tension. The Thai Massage benefits are it can decrease back pain, decrease headache sensitivity, make body parts more flexible, improve physical and mental health, relaxation, and much more. Read, more Benefits Of Back Massage.
Champissage known as Indian Head Massage focuses on the scalp, neck, shoulders, and face. Indian head massage has different benefits like it prompts hair growth, improves mental health, boosts mind capabilities, etc.
9. Thai Yoga Massage
As the name clears Thai Yoga Massage involves the combination of yoga and massage. In Thai Yoga Massage body muscles are strengthened like in yoga and skin is rubbed like massage. The benefits of Thai Yoga Massage include it improves the flexibility of body parts, improves blood circulation, increases energy levels, etc.
10. Aromatherapy Massage
Aromatherapy involves using essential oils extracted from plants. These oils have powerful properties that can provide relief from everyday ailments such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and headaches. Aromatherapy massage benefits are Anxiety Relief, Depression Relief, Digestion, Energy Boosting, Healthy Skin, Headaches, Skin Care, Stress Reduction, Soothe Your Nerves, Virility, Weight Loss, Wound Healing, Mental Clarity, Sleep Aid, Toothache Relief, and, Uplifting Moods. Learn more about What is Aromatherapy? Oils, Uses, Benefits, Risks, and More.
How to get started with Chinese Massage
If you want to experience the benefits of massaging yourself, there are two ways to do so. First, you can take advantage of all the services offered by professional massage therapists. Second, you can learn how to give self-massage treatments to yourself at home. Both options are beneficial, but they also come with their own set of pros and cons. Here are some things to consider before choosing one option over the other.
Chinese massage is an ancient healing art that originated thousands of years ago. It was first documented in China during the Zhou Dynasty (1100 BC – 256 AD). The earliest forms of Chinese massage were based on acupressure techniques.
Later, these techniques were refined into what we know today as acupuncture. In modern times, many types of massage have evolved from Chinese massage. These include reflexology, shiatsu, aromatherapy, and others. Each type of massage has its own unique benefits and applications.