Asian massage can refer to many different types of massage. Most Asian Massage, however, centers around the idea of affecting the energy flow, or Chi, within the body through the various pathways and energy centers called meridians and chakras. In order to address any symptoms of imbalance within the body, the flow of energy is adjusted through massage. Certain massage strokes and special techniques are used to affect specific points on the body’s energy meridians where disruptions, blockages, or imbalances may exist.
We Combine Asian Massage with Western Massage Techniques
At Massage Fort Myers, Inc. we have developed a massage that blends the long smooth strokes of traditional western massage such as Swedish massage with the pressure point techniques of Japanese Shiatsu massage and other Asian massage techniques in order to provide the best of both worlds. Our massage takes into consideration that many of our customers are walking more than usual, as they are in Fort Myers for vacation purposes. Much of that walking involves beach combing and other strenuous outdoor activities that put stress on our feet that we are not accustomed to. With this in mind, we add elements such as acupressure (see below) and foot reflexology to our standard Swedish massage to not only relax your body but to also help alleviate any foot pain or discomfort that our customers may be experiencing.
Types of Asian Massage
There are almost as many Asian Massage techniques as there are Asian countries. Below is a list of some of the various types of Asian Massage with an explanation of each:
Acupressure is basically acupuncture without the needles. Practiced in China for thousands of years, acupressure is the application of pressure to specific points on the body called acupoints. The massage therapist applies pressure with his or her fingers, palms, elbows, and even feet. The goal is to release blockages within the body and to promote the free flow of energy to all parts of the body.
Amma massage is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine dating back over 5,000 years. The Chinese word Am-ma means “push-pull” but the massage itself involves the application of pressure in a more rhythmic circular motion. Pressure is applied to acupoints with the massage therapist’s thumbs, fingers, and palms. Amma massage is much like acupuncture without the needles. Amma massage has been promoted as particularly beneficial to those who suffer from indigestion, constipation, premenstrual syndrome, and stiffness or pain in the neck.
Ayurveda Massage gets its roots from India. It’s a technique that focuses on the body’s chakras and marmas, which are similar to the acupoints referenced in Chinese medicine. There are many types of Ayurvedic Massage including abhyanga, gandharva, marma, pizichilli, shirodhara, and vishesh. A commonality among almost all Ayurvedic massage is the use of organic oil blends that have been infused with herbs. The oil enters the body through the pores of the skin and is said to combine with toxins and aid in their removal.
Chi Nei Tsang Massage
Chi Nei Tsang massage is first and foremost an abdominal massage. It is thought that the energy (Chi) that moves throughout our body is concentrated in the abdomen and that blockages of the nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatic tract are, therefore, common in the abdominal region. The feeling that many of us have experienced before of having a “knot” in our stomach is the physical manifestation of such a blockage and is the target of Chi Nei massage.
During a Chi Nei massage the massage therapist applies oil liberally to the abdominal region of the body and gently palpates the connective tissue (fascia) of the abdominal organs, muscles, and tendons to address issues connected to indigestion, constipation, bloating, premenstrual syndrome, etc.
Jin Shin Jyutsu Massage
Jin Shin Jyutsu Massage is a trigger point or acupoint massage that focuses on 26 specific points on our bodies where blockages of the energy pathway of the human body are common. Jin Shin Jyutsu massage is a very light acupressure massage designed to release uncomfortable or even painful congestion or blockages that occur along the energy pathway. Because only minimal pressure is used during Jin Shin Jyutsu massage, it is a great massage for massage for geriatric patients or those suffering from illnesses for which more deep or intensive massage is contraindicated.
The term Shiatsu means “finger pressure” which provides a hint as to the actual techniques involved. During a Shiatsu massage, the massage therapist uses his or her fingers, thumbs, palms, and even elbows to apply pressure to the various muscles and other soft tissue of the body. Shiatsu massage was created in Japan as early as the 6th Century. Shiatsu has become a popular type of massage in western spas and is particularly helpful in relieving blockages at the body’s acupressure points and reducing muscle tension, adhesions, and pain.
Thai massage is sometimes referred to as “lazy man’s yoga” because it is a massage technique that involves considerable stretching with little or no effort from the client. Thai massage is often performed with the subject fully clothed.
Tui Na –Massage
The focus of Tui Na massage is the stretching and kneading of muscles to relieve tension over large areas of the body. There is less focus on specific acupoints and more focus on the entirety of the muscle. The massage therapist kneads, rolls, presses, and rubs the muscles as well as the areas between the joints in order to stimulate acupoints. Range of motion techniques are also used by Tui Na massage therapists to lengthen the muscles and allow the flow of energy to continue throughout the body unobstructed.
Zhi Ya Massage
Zhi Ya massage is based on acupressure principles. The muscles are pinched and pressed at acupoints to affect a specific part of the body and to bring the entire body into balance.