Massage, in Chinese called ‘an mo’ or ‘tui na’, it is another great contribution of the Chinese people made to the world medical field. It is a kind of outer physiotherapy and has been approved to be one of great practical use. As doctors hold that, a network – ‘jing luo’ in human body serves as a passage for vital energy and blood, organs and joints all to be the entity of body, they regulate it through outside force of hands directly acting on the injured part, and turn the scale of pathological changes or improve the organ function to maintain health.
This marvellous treatment as a branch of Chinese medicine also has a long history. The earliest record on massage is in the inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty (16th -11th century BC). During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BC), a story that a miracle-working doctor Bian Que healed the faint prince through massage was written down, illustrating the amazing effect in such an early time. In the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386 – 589), six techniques of hand massage evolved and became more professional, such as to strand, shake, twine, twiddle, knead and roll, which are still widely used. Today it has developed over 20 varieties of techniques and the study on of it is thriving.
Depending on the strength and direction of hand, the power sinking into the body differs. Consequently some reach only the skin, some to the pulses, muscle and even marrow. The effects of massage have been affirmed by people who have experienced, that is, relieving the bones and muscles, detumescence, acesodyne, adjusting dislocation of the joints, removal of muscle spasm and so on. Today the massage by the blind in China has been a fashion because of the effect and the provision of work chance.
Besides these massages for cure, there are also ones for keeping fit. Kneading the acupoints around eyes can give you a good eyesight; massaging simply and exactly on the three acupoints of head can quickly relax yourself; and massaging feet known as reflexology in the west can reflect the effects all parts of the human body, as the feet have a close relationship with the whole body and are known as the ‘second heart’.