No healing modality could possibly be older than therapeutic massage, since it is such a basic human instinct to rub a painful area. The Chinese have developed a sophisticated system of massage over a period of thousands of years that is used for numerous conditions.
Going far beyond the expected applications for musculoskeletal pain, this massage technique is taught in Chinese medical schools, and specialists in the art are able to treat a wide range of diseases effectively. By working with the meridian system, practitioners are able to treat internal conditions such as hypertension, peptic ulcer, insomnia, nausea, arthritis, and constipation.
Massage, as practiced in traditional Chinese
medicine, focuses on more than just muscles.
Pediatric massage is a field of specialty practiced in Chinese hospitals. It is especially effective on children younger than 5 years of age, and the younger the child, the more effective the treatment tends to be. The caress of a loving parent is the first sensation a baby experiences after birth, and recent research in the West has shown that infants who are routinely touched tend to be healthier and gain more weight.
Some of the conditions treated by pediatric tui na, or massage, are diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, common cold, fever, bed-wetting, and crying at night. As in adult therapeutic massage, pediatric massage involves a variety of manipulations, such as pushing, spreading, kneading, pinching, and pressing. The manipulations are chosen according to the level of stimulation desired and the nature of the area massaged.
The results of Chinese therapeutic massage can often be quite dramatic, bringing about an immediate sense of healing. It is especially effective when used with other modalities, such as herbal medicine. For example, in an injury, herbs are taken internally to reduce the inflammation, swelling, and pain.
In addition, a topical herb formula is combined with oil and massaged into the injured area to increase circulation and healing to the area, augmenting the systemic effect of the internal formula. This sort of three-pronged approach ensures a much faster recovery time, and it is one of the reasons that tui na practitioners are held in such high regard in China.
Another type of therapy that can help with prevention and curing of health problems is dietary. Learn about Chinese dietary therapy in the next section of this article.
For more about traditional Chinese medicine, treatments, cures, beliefs, and other interesting topics, see:
- How Traditional Chinese Medicine Works
- How to Treat Common Ailments with Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Coughs, Colds, Flu, and Allergies
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Digestive System
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pain Relief
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Overall Health