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Guide to Chinese Massage: Benefits and What to Expect

Body relaxation is an essential part of healthy living. There are several ways to relax the body and one of those ways is massage. The primary purpose of massage is relaxation, although some massaging types may also proffer extra health benefits.

There are different massage types to choose from. However in this article, we would consider the Chinese massage, its health benefits, what to expect while undergoing this massage type and if it’s worth a try or not.

If you’re looking to choose a massage therapy to undergo or you’re interested in knowing about this Massage type, hop on this bandwagon as we explore this interesting topic!

What is Chinese massage?

The massage is amongst one of the most important contributions of the Chinese to medicine. They were quick to realise that healing the body from stress and discomfort do not always have to be via medicine however could, by ensuring an even flow of energy around the body to give rise to a calm and relaxed body.

Introduction of massage to Chinese medicines dates back to about 4,000 years and it appears to have developed at the time when healing exercises and healing exercises were also developed. It is believed to have been developed by qigong masters and it involves understanding the flow of qi through passages in the body.

This massage method is based on the ability of the therapist to ease distribution of energy around the body. Chinese massage takes a different approach to massage and general body relaxation.

What to expect during a Chinese massage?

While preparing for a massage session, patients are made to lie down on a platform or a firm floor pad. This allows the therapist easy access to body parts and helps the patient relax as well. Ten minutes to an hour is the time taken to complete a massage session.

Once in position, your therapist begins to work your muscles by helping them relax and this relaxation would encourage blood flow around the body.

In Chinese massage, the therapist applies pressure with the fingertips or thumbs on certain points on the body. This pressure also encourages movement of energy through several passages within the body.

During your massage session, you may observe pains from pulling the limbs. This is completely normal and the therapists are skilled in keeping these pains mild while ensuring that you’re comfortable all through the process.

It is important to note that there are several massaging techniques under this umbrella. These techniques are; Tui Na, Zhi Ya and Reflexology.

Tui Na from literal translation means to lift and press hence, this massage technique involves repeated and controlled use of deep however constant pressure using the ball of the thumb.

Zhi Ya is popularly known as acupressure and it involves applying pressure to specific body parts to ease tension.

Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific locations in the feet, hands or ears.

The technique of choice depends on the familiarity with massage type, patient choice or recommendation of therapist.

After completing the massage session, you’ll be sure to enjoy that calm and refreshed feeling. Cool, isn’t it?

Chinese massage with foot reflexology
Foot reflexology chart (Source)

Benefits of Chinese massage

As soothing as it may seem, Chinese massage is not meant for relaxation alone. It also provides other therapeutic benefits. Some of these benefits are discussed below.

The first benefit of Chinese massage like other massaging techniques is that it helps patients regain energy and strength to perform daily activities. Seeing how massaging is a relaxation technique, it is expected that it helps participants ease off built up stress while renewing their energy and strength.

The energy renewal benefit of Chinese massage also comes from its ability to keep the muscles relaxed and refreshed.

As discussed earlier, an aspect of this massage type involves stretching the limbs. This stretching has an effect on the musculoskeletal system as stretching the limbs and other body parts helps keep the skeletal system aligned.

Another major benefit of this massage type is that it is not one dimensional. It is targeted at ensuring a completely healthy human meaning that it balances the mental aspect of health along with balancing the physical.

Undergoing Chinese massage therapy involves relieving stress by ensuring an even distribution of energy around the body. This even distribution of energy helps preserve the mental state of health and ensure that the mind is in a calm tandem with the body.

The benefits of undergoing this sort of therapy transcends its physical benefits once again as it encourages release of positive chemicals into the body. Three main chemicals are released during Chinese massage sessions and they are; endorphins, serotonin and dopamines. Endorphins help us deal with stress and relieve pain, serotonin stabilises the mood and feeling of well-being and dopamine functions in controlling feelings of reward, attention, motivation and more.

When more of these hormones are released, they tend to lift the general body mood and encourage a healthy mind.

Getting a Chinese massage also helps improve disease conditions and general body discomfort. An example of this is how it helps reduce lactic acid accumulation in muscle parts as it improves circulation of blood around body parts.

Reduction of high blood pressure in (prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension) is also a result of the relaxing effect of this massage type. Acupuncture, a technique used during Chinese massage has been adopted in clinics and hospitals as methods of reducing blood pressure.

This goes without saying, this sort of therapy improves the respiratory and circulatory system of its participants as it puts them to work giving them relief from the everyday bustles.

Conclusion

There are many different types of massage therapy to choose from of which Chinese massage is an option however choosing any relaxation method (massage or not) completely depends on what participants are comfortable with.

While choosing a massage or relaxation type to go along with, be sure to choose one that not only caters for the stability and refreshing of the body however also ensures that the mind is in a healthy state.