Asian Massage has been a central part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years, with records stretching back as far as the 2nd century BCE. Unlike Deep Tissue or Sports Massage, which focus on releasing tight muscular knots by targeting blood flow to the area, Chinese Massage techniques also aim to promote overall health by easing the flow of energy, or “qi”, around the body.
What is Qi?Qi (or ch’i) literally translates as “breath” or “air”, and is used to refer to the “life force” or “energy flow” that is within every living thing. It is a holistic philosophy that permeates many elements of Chinese culture, from martial arts to calligraphy. Even if you don’t directly subscribe to Eastern philosophies, you might understand this principle as the desire to find a sense of calmness and balance in your daily life. Traditional Chinese medicine asserts that the body has its own natural patterns of qi that flow through channels, called meridians. Imbalances and blockages in these channels, as well as deficiencies of qi in key organs, are understood to cause the symptoms of many illnesses. Imbalances can be gently corrected through a variety of techniques, including nutrition, exercise, acupuncture and massage. Chinese Massage techniques There are two main types of Asian massage.
- Tui Na (pronounced “twee na”) has some similarities to a Deep Tissue Massage, and uses kneading, chopping and stretching motions to relieve sore points and blockages in the body’s muscular system.
- Zhi Ya (pronouced “zee yah”) practitioners pinching and pressing techniques on the surface of the skin, as in Acupressure, and Qigong.
- Can increase energy
- Speed up recovery of soft tissue injuries
- Boost your circulation
- Break down scar tissue
- Support emotional health