Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chinese Massage Therapy

In china, massage is one of the therapies, along with acupuncture and herbal medicine, that has been around for centuries and is still an essential part of Chinese medical care today. Different systems coexist, including tuina ("pushing and grasping") and anmo ("pressing and rubbing"), and there are numerous regional styles. In the warm south, massage technique is usually gentle and slow, while in the colder north it is strong and vigorous. Traditionally massage is performed through clothes, so there is no need for oil.

Qi energy

In traditional Chinese medicine, the energy that flows along the meridians is known as qi (also known as chi) and the aim of treatment is to create an unobstructed flow of qi in the body. There are 12 regular meridians, each one influencing a major organ and its associated functions. Another two meridians trace the midline of the front of the body, Ren (Conception vessel) and the back of the body, Du (Governing vessel).

In a healthy person, qi is balanced between the opposite but complementary qualities, yin and yang. Yin signifies dark, cold, and passivity, and the meridians run along the front of the body, the abdomen, and the insides of the arms and legs; yang signifies light, warmth, and activity, and the meridians run mainly on the back and the outsides of the arms and legs. The aim of a massage is to balance the body into a cohesive, energetic whole.

Traditionally a Chinese masseur practices techniques on a bag of rice. When a person manages to reduce the bag of rice to one of flour, the technique is considered to be mastered.

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