Chinese massage, also known as Tui Na, is one of the fundamental treatment modalities in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), along with dietary regulation, herbal medicine, acupuncture/moxibustion, and therapeutic exercise. Chinese massage has been used for medical purposes in China for centuries. It goes back about 4,000 years. Written massage textbooks began to appear as early as the fourth century b.c., along with the earliest Chinese medical texts. It is now becoming popular in the West as a means of treating a wide range of health problems.

What is Chinese massage and how does it work?

Chinese massage is a systematic assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management. It is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony.

TCM practitioners think body energy must continuously flow to prevent stress and disease. They manipulate the meridian system (inner energy points and pathways) to encourage the flow of “qi” (body energy) and blood throughout the body. Like acupuncture, TCM uses remedial massage to harmonise yin and yang in the body by manipulating the Qi in the acupuncture channels. TCM practitioners balance their clients’ Qi by clearing energy pathways called jing luo of blockages that cause pain and disease. They identify pathways with limited flow and use hand pressure to restore balance and energy circulation. In TCM pain is an indication that Qi is blocked or stuck. A Chinese massage therapist aims to remove blockages from the meridians (invisible pathways in the body on which Qi flows) and stimulate the flow of Qi.

To perform Chinese massage, the TCM practitioner uses a variety of hand techniques to manipulate the soft tissue of the body. It also employs acupressure to redirect the flow of Qi in the body and manual skeletal manipulation techniques to realign the bones and muscles in the body for optimal alignment. The aim of this massage is to address muscle tension using a treatment plan to reposition any misaligned bones or joints, and improve the blood flow to the affected areas.

What to expect from a Chinese massage session?

Before a remedial massage treatment begins, our TCM practitioner will perform an initial consultation and assessment to ascertain your current health status and your lifestyle. This allows our Chinese massage therapist to ensure you are suitable for Chinese massage, and identify the areas that require attention. It is important for the massage therapist to understand that a patient’s needs are unique, and therefore particular remedial massage techniques need to be selected with clinical expertise and applied in a way that suits that patient.

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After the initial consultation, our massage therapist will ask you to lie on a table and will cover you with towels to protect your privacy and to keep you warm. They will probably use creams or oils to help them massage your skin smoothly. The therapist will use a number of different techniques to locate and repair damaged areas of your body. They will deeply penetrate muscles associated with the problem. They may also stretch different parts of the body. Chinese massage practitioners may be more likely than other massage therapists to encourage talking during your massage session. Not only does this provide them with feedback and increase your comfort, it may also help you release emotions that arise during the session.

What are the benefits of Chinese massage therapy?

Chinese massage therapy is a holistic approach to health care that not only provides relief from physical ailments, but also relaxes and revitalises the body and mind. It provides relief from chronic pain and improves the strength and flexibility of the various parts of the body. Chinese massage aims to balance the length, tone and tension of muscles and tendons, which restores the correct position of the bones, increases blood flow and helps heal injuries. It can help remove layers of emotional stress while breaking down scar tissue, increasing range of motion, and reducing pain. Easing and stabilising the muscles can help with problems such as headaches, abdominal pain, low back pain and sciatic pain. Regular remedial massages can reduce the risk of injury that may occur in everyday activities (work or recreation), and help maintain optimal physical condition.

The benefits from Chinese massage therapy are not only physical. Chinese massage may also relax and re-energise the mind. It may also be an excellent way of removing all the accumulated stress and tension from the body and the mind. These massages may help rejuvenate and relax the mind from day to day stress.

For more information regarding Chinese massage in Perth, please call your closest location (Perth clinic: 57/76 Newcastle Street (08) 9228 8828, Subiaco Clinic: 6/1 Sheen Street (08) 9380 4171). Alternatively, you can send us your queries through our online contact page.

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