Asian massage and bodywork therapies have been practiced and perfected for centuries in many countries around the world. Shiatsu, foot massage, acupressure, Thai massage, Tui Na, Ayervedic, and Qigong are all services discussed in massage magazines, publications and massage parlor reviews.
Known as an integral part of Chinese medicine, along with Chinese herbs and acupuncture, this therapy helps to create a harmonious flow of Qi, the body's vital energy.
Shiatsu, Ashiatsu (foot massage), acupressure, Thai massage, trigger point therapies, Tui Na, Ayervedic, and Chi Nei Tsang are all different forms of bodywork and are often found in modern massage businesses today.
Shiatsu originated in Japan over 2000 years ago. It involves very little rubbing and more pressure point therapy along the meridian lines of the body. There are various types of shiatsu which can include techniques and/or products such as herbs and oils.
Ashiatsu, meaning "massage foot pressure", has been performed for centuries in eastern countries. Most often, with the therapist also holding on to a bar attached to the ceiling, this therapy is growing in popularity as a great deep tissue treatment.
Ayurvedic massage uses organic Ayurvedic oils and lots of different hand strokes and movements. It has been used for treating many health issues in India for thousands of years. The oils are believed to eliminate toxins from the body. This service is very common in plush spas in India.
Acupressure uses pressure points to release tension and increase circulation throughout the body. There are different types of acupressure or trigger point therapies, all created to meet specific needs.
Tui Na, originally a Chinese bodywork technique, uses smooth, gliding motions with the therapist's arms and hands to facilitate energy flow throughout the body. Found in most massage parlors, Tui Na involves rubbing, kneeding, pressure point work, and stretching. Some techniques can be vigorous, therefore clients are encouraged to wear loose clothing.
Chi Nei Tsang, or "working the energy of the internal organs", involves massage of the abdomen to encourage optimal working of the organs. It includes some deep tissue work with gentle relaxation methods.
This is a great Chi Nei Tsang video:
Chi Nei Tsang is also considered an organ detox massage, as it is a technique that opens our awareness to release tensions, adhesions, and worries from major organs.
Thai massage, or Naud Bo Rarn (meaning Ancient Manner Massage), uses no oil and combines stretches of limbs and joints with pressure point massage along the body's energy pathways. The client lies on the floor or a very low table and is encouraged to breath deeply to open energy flow and release tension. Read more about Thailand and traditional Thai massage techniques!
This DVD, Mastering Thai Massage teaches the techniques of this therapy, along with energy paths, and pressure point techniques.