The art of a massage (an mo or tui na in Chinese) is one of the great contributions that the Chinese have made to the world. It is a kind of outer physiotherapy and has been proven to be beneficiary for one's health. Some doctors claim that a network or "jing luo" in the human body serves as a passage for vital energy, blood, organs and joints all to be in harmony in the body. The regulation of this network can be helped through the force of hands on the exterior, directly acting on the injured part and can cause pathological changes or perhaps change the functioning of organs to maintain health.
Massage has a long history in China. The earliest records of massage derive from the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC). During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), it is said that a legendary doctor, Bian Que, healed the prince who was considered by many to be dead, although Bian Que concluded that he was rather in a coma like state. After acupuncture and intense massage, the prince was healed, illustrating the amazing effect of massage.
In the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386 - 589), six techniques of hand massage developed such as to strand, shake, twine, twiddle, knead and roll, all of which are still used today. Nowadays, there are over 20 varieties of techniques and studies on the effect of massaging produces fascinating results.
Depending on the strength and direction of hand, the level of power that sinks into the body differs. Some massages only affects the skin, some affect the pulse, muscles and even perhaps the marrow. The effects of massage have been affirmed by people who have experienced relief of the bones and muscles, detumescence, acesodyne, adjusting dislocation of the joints and removal of muscle spasm amongst others. Today, massages by the blind in China have increased in popularity due to their exceptional level of touch.
Besides these massages for cure, there are also types of massage used for maintaining fitness. Kneading the acupoints around the eyes can improve eyesight; massaging simply and carefully on the three acupoints of the head can provide relaxing sensations; massaging feet, known as reflexology in the west, can affect all parts of the human body, as the feet have a close relationship with the whole body and are known as the "second heart".