The development of the Chinese tradition came from the synergy between four groups, doctors who brought the sophisticated medical theories of TCM to massage, martial arts who combined deep experience of qi with great ability to heal injuries, Bhuddist and Taoist adepts who used massage as an and laymen often blind practitioners offering massage for pleasure and relaxation.
Since the time of the Mao Zedong massage has continued to develop absorbing western ideas into the traditional framework.
In practice it is the context and objectives which distinguishes these branches.
In terms of theory and techniques they have much in common.
Around this time Chinese techniques were imported to Japan and eventually gave rise to Japanese Shiatsu.
Later still Peter Henrik Ling learned from Chinese masters before developing Swedish Massage the origin of Western bodywork.
They are what defines its feel and therapeutic qualities.
– healing with direct transmission by qigong masters after many years of rigorous training and discipline.
It is widely practised and taught in hospital and medical schools and is an essential part of primary healthcare.
The astounding success of China’s athletes and gymnasts is due at least in part to the use old traditional massage in their training.
Central to all of them is the idea that massage affects not only the physical body but also the or channels and collaterals.
According to this theory the body is networked by a system of pathways which function to transport qi and blood, to regulate yin and yang, to protect against external pathogens and to link the internal organs with the exterior. What is particularly interesting is that these effects create movement in one form or another.