Massage in Taiwan
Probably almost from the beginning of humankind massage has played an important part in assisting health and wellbeing of people of many civilizations. As China had a well-developed writing system, it is one of the oldest civilization that has recorded the use of massage in traditional medicine. One such record has been dated back to 722 BC, that is over two thousand, seven hundred years ago. Traditional Chinese massage focusses on the well-being of the whole person: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Chinese massage incorporates elements such as acupuncture, acupressure and herbal medicine and the aim of its use is to remove blockages and enhance the flow of blood, the vital energy, which is known as qi (pronounced 'chee'). The idea is that if there is pain there must be a blockage of the qi and the purpose of the massage is to remove that blockage and relieve the pain. There are invisible pathways along which the qi flows and these are known as meridians.
Chinese massage is a holistic approach to health care and thus claims to give not only relief from pain but also provides relaxation and revitalization of the whole of a person's body and mind. Even when there is no pain, a Chinese massage can be a rejuvenating experience.
In Taiwan, one of the best massages we had were from blind people. It was one of the attractions at Seniors' Day one year and the blind masseurs really knew their job. Senior's Day was a very special celebration and even the President attended and we were able to meet him and shake his hand in a relaxed and friendly way.
Types of Chinese Massage
We had first met Chinese massage unexpectedly when we visited the hairdresser. Before the haircut we were treated to a blissful head and neck massage. I could have stayed there all day, it was wonderful. Such a bonus.
We found that there are many different types of Chinese massage that have developed over the centuries and are used for different purposes. Some of the most popular and best known include:
- An-mo: A press and rub technique that focusses on the whole body. It is used to relax, calm and balance the whole body to maintain good health and to rejuvenate.
- Tui-na: This is more a push and grab massage that is also used over the whole body, but especially the back. In the photograph below you can see the push technique being used. It is utilised to treat injuries, chronic pain, arthritis, joint and muscle problems and internal disorders such as digestive system problems.
- Tui-na for Babies: This is similar to the above, but is especially adapted for infants and young children.
- Dian-Xue: This type of massage uses pressure techniques similar to acupressure. It is used to stimulate the pressure points of the body to provide pain relief.
- Wai-qi Liao-fa: This is a special technique that is only used by Chinese massage masters after many years of training. It is connected with qi-dong.
The Benefits of Chinese Massage
There are many benefits of Chinese massage. For me, not the least was the relaxation it provides. I believe that is can be very effective for relieving both the body and the mind from the stress and anxiety of daily life and is used to cure anxiety disorders. It is often administered to the accompaniment of special Chinese massage music, which is very calming.
Problems such as headaches and even debilitating migraines are often completely cured as well as physical problems such as sciatica, tennis elbow and sports injuries.
Once a friend talked me into having a foot massage with her. She said it was very relaxing, but I found it so painful I almost refused to continue. However, but I felt so much better, really rejuvenated, from it. I was glad I had stayed.
Having Chinese massage regularly can have many benefits in the treatment of a number of diseases, pain relief, psychological problems and it can be so relaxing. It really can assist the whole body, physically, mentally and emotionally.