Chinese Massage: Meaning Explained

Chinese Massage: Meaning Explained

/ 09:57 AM November 30, 2022

You may be familiar with Chinese medicine but often wonder about its benefits and uses. Though there are different parts of Chinese medicine, Chinese massage forms a central part which we will explain in detail.

Chinese massage has existed for thousands of years. It is trusted to provide health benefits as it has been used by many people worldwide and goes beyond the limits of cultures, generations, and countries.


Ever wanted an alternative form of medicinal treatment for an ailment? Chinese massage provides an intense healing effect that impresses you. You can opt for it because it complements traditional or regular Western medicine.

This article will guide you through what Chinese massage is, its health benefits, and its techniques.

What is Chinese Massage?

What is Chinese Massage?

Photo Credit: Alan Caishan

Chinese massage can be seen as a remedy or therapy for any form of disorder in the body. Catherine Tremblay, a Chinese medicine massage therapist, made it known on her website that any imbalance can be dealt with or resolved in this part of medicine.

Chinese massage combines various therapies and is a primary treatment style in traditional Chinese medicine. It goes along with herbal medication, dietary control or regulation, therapeutic massage, and moxibustion/acupuncture.

It is generally known as push-and-pull bodywork that involves twisting, pushing, kneading, pulling, etc. However, all of these knowledge base techniques heal the body.

Chinese massage therapy functions perfectly in restoring energy to the body and a sense of balance. It treats other problems but treats illnesses of all types and injuries in the body. It can also involve quickening the lymphatic system and many other body organs to maintain and promote health.


What are the Health Benefits of Chinese Massage?

Chinese massage therapy is not just about relaxing or pampering the muscles and, of course, does not require extensive training. It is a deep-tissue therapy that has the following benefits:

Eases Pain

Chinese massage helps reduce or ease pain, especially when the therapist uses the right techniques. It renders the best result in reducing pain in the lower back, the neck, or any part of the body that might have occurred due to stress. It also eases pain gotten from injury.

Depending on how chronic the pain is felt, there is a need for restoration in the blood circulation, and the therapist might need to take you through several therapy sessions.


Faster Injury Recovery

Chinese massage serves as a good therapy to speed up recovery from injuries. It helps hasten the relief of pain or stiffness, such as soft tissue injuries, sciatica, frozen shoulder, etc., including pain experienced in the lower back and neck, as mentioned above.

Also, when this massage is applied to skeletal muscle, there is a reduction in inflammation, resulting in fast recovery from your injury.

Improves Balance

The massage works well if you face any issue concerning body balance. This therapy improves and helps in the restoration of body balance. Continuous sessions would help in the overall improvement of the body to get a perfect result. 

Increases Circulation

Blood circulation is re-energized, improved, and stimulated when hand techniques are used, including rolling fists and perpendicular pressure.

Traditional Chinese massage involves pushing and pulling; when this is done, the body is prompted to bring more blood to the massage area. An improvement in blood circulation decreases blood pressure, and you feel relaxed and have the energy and strength to do things.

What are the Chinese Massage Techniques?

What are the Chinese Massage Techniques

Since Chinese massage is done to create healing and not for relaxation and enjoyment, it is usually done briefly or briskly. For this reason, therapists conduct this treatment forcefully and persistently while maintaining a rhythmic and soft movement to attain pressure effects that penetrate deep.

Therapists use different techniques, namely: Tui Na and Zhi Ya. In Tui Na, the chopping, stretching, and kneading techniques relieve blockages in the body’s muscular system and aching points.

While in Zhi Ya, therapists use techniques such as pressing and pinching the skin’s surface. However, in both types of Chinese massage, the therapist aims to release energetic and physical tension to prompt the body’s healing process and restore balance.

Generally, below are a list of techniques a highly trained or professional Chinese medicine therapist can use to address your problem.

  • Joining (Jie)
  • Palpating (Mo)
  • Opposing (Duan)
  • Kneading (Mo)
  • Holding (a)
  • Rising (Ti)
  • Pressing (An)
  • Push (Tui)
  • Stepping
  • Rolling 
  • Wiping
  • Twisting 
  • Rotating

What Should You Expect from Chinese Massage?

Chinese massage is not much different from most Western massages. It takes place on a massage table where different techniques, including rolling, kneading, and sliding, provide a medicinal and relaxing experience.

Every session focuses on a particular region of the body. Before anything, your therapist will ask if you have any pain, health issues, or discomfort in any part of the body.

If confirmed, the therapist begins with slow movements to stimulate or prompt the blood circulation and energy flow and affect the soft tissue. Along the way, they speed up the pace to loosen tension and stress retained in the body.

With all of these movements, it is possible to feel slight pain. Your therapists can go as far as cracking and twisting a few bones here and there, which is why you need to choose a professional therapist.

Is Acupuncture Involved?

Is Acupuncture Involved

Yes. Therapists often use acupuncture in Chinese massage along with other treatments. Of course, it is a part of Chinese medicine. It is the practice of penetrating or going through the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles. The therapist will then actualize these needles through specific and gentle movements of the therapist’s hands.

Your massage therapist may use acupuncture depending on your diagnosis and the therapist’s recommendation for your massage. However, therapists will only use it for some patients.

Though it solves a variety of other conditions, acupuncture effectively improves the flow of Qi, stimulating the acupressure points to improve health.


Chinese massage therapy promotes overall human health. This is because Chinese therapy helps the flow of energy around the body system. It may be similar to deep tissue massage, where you release muscle tension and knots by directing blood flow to different areas. However, it is not the same.

Don’t allow a therapist who is not attentive or familiar with your situation to attend to you. If you want to be free from any stiffness, discomfort, or pain you’re going through, you need a unique massage, and the wise thing to do is get a professional and trained therapist.

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