This Chinese massage therapy guide is an overview of traditional Chinese massage, which includes two distinct types–Tui Na (Tuina) and Zhi Ya. Tui Na focuses on pushing, pulling, and kneading the muscles, while Zhi Ya concentrates on pinching and pressing acupressure points. These treatments are part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a healing system that includes acupuncture, fire cupping, tai chi, and Chinese herbal medicine. Chinese massage has five parts: An Mo, Tui Na, Infant Tui Na, Dian Xue, and Wai Qi Liao Fa.
Chinese Massage Parts
- An Mo. An Mo is one of five parts of Chinese massage. It involves pressing and rubbing an area of the body. TCM practitioners utilize An Mo massage for rejuvenation and maintenance of patients’ health.
- Tui Na. Tui Na is an integral part of TCM and part of formal training in Oriental medicine. Using a push and grab technique, Tui Na is used to treat joint and muscle problems, injuries, and internal disorders.
- Infant Tui Na. Infant Tui Na is sometimes called Baby Tui Na or Pediatric Tui Na. TCM practitioners treat infants and young children with this type of massage.
- Dian Xue. Dian Xue is similar to acupressure. This Chinese massage uses various pressure points to stimulate organs and relieve pain.
- Wai Qi Liao Fa. Wai Qi Liao Fa, or External Qi Healing (EQH), is an ancient healing science based on the same theories as acupuncture. EQH involves short-distance psychokinesis and, at the most, only light touch.
Chinese Massage Techniques
Chinese massage affects a person’s physical and mental health. It affects the physical body through Qi, or a network of energy. It affects the mental body through emotions, thoughts, and spiritual senses. Aimed to activate and regulate energy and enhance relaxation, Chinese massage makes the body flexible, eases muscle spasms, strengthens joints, and relieves pain. Chinese massage uses a variety of techniques–compression, friction, vibration, percussion, pinching and grasping, swing, and joint manipulation.
- Compression. Compression uses fingers and palms to apply pressure to the body in motions that nip, press, and twist. Compression relieves muscle stiffness and promotes circulation.
- Friction. Friction uses movements like rubbing, pushing, and gliding to create surface heat and improve circulation. It uses scrubbing motions for certain areas like the chest and back.
- Vibration. Vibration enhances gastrointestinal functioning. The technique involves rapid moving, shaking, and rocking to vibrate an area of the body and resume Qi movement.
- Percussion. Percussion is popular Chinese massage technique. Practitioners use finger tapping on the head, abdomen, and chest and fist striking on the back They use palm patting on the waist, hips, and limbs.
- Pinching And Grasping. Pinching and grasping is another popular Chinese massage technique. It involves squeezing, kneading, twisting, pinching, and holding soft tissue to resume Qi flow in the body.
- Swing. Swing refers to finger pushing, kneading, and rolling techniques. Sometimes known as “pushing with one finger meditation,” swing is commonly used in traditional Chinese massage.
- Joint Manipulation. Joint manipulation involves rotation and pulling actions to increase range of motion in joints. It also improves flexibility in the limbs and spine.
Benefits Of Chinese Massage
- Massage therapy is a holistic approach to health care, thought to heal and relax the body and revitalize the mind.
- Chinese massage therapy stimulates the body's circulatory, nervous, and immune systems.
- It improves joint and muscle strength and flexibility, and it provides pain relief, as well. Athletes use TCM massage to recover from sports injuries and improve athletic performance.
- Chinese massage therapy is said to remove stress and tension from the body, improving a person’s overall physical and mental health.