Traditional Chinese medicine asserts that the body has its own natural patterns of qi (or ch’i: used to refer to the “life force” or “energy flow”) 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.
There are two main types of Chinese 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, Reflexology and Qigong.
In both types of traditional Chinese massage, the practitioner’s aim is to release both physical and energetic tension, in order to restore a sense of balance and kickstart the body’s own healing process.