When many people first hear about Chinese acupressure massage, the first question they ask is, "What's the difference between acupressure massage and an ordinary massage?" This is usually followed by a second question: "How can Chinese acupressure massage benefit me?" These are both fair questions. There are many differences between acupuncture massage and traditional massage techniques and you may find that an acupressure massage can benefit you in ways a simple "body rub" cannot.
The Difference Between Acupressure Massage and Ordinary Massage
The biggest difference between acupressure and ordinary massage techniques lies in how and where pressure is applied. Western massage techniques primarily are designed for relief from muscular tension and soreness. The massage practitioner therefore kneads or rubs large areas of the body, focusing on the muscles themselves.
In contrast to Western massage techniques, acupressure massage focuses pressure on specific areas of the body known as the "meridians of Qi" (or "Ki"). According to ancient Chinese medicine, Qi is the vital energy that flows through the body. In order to maintain maximum health, this energy must flow uninterruptedly through the body. Qi follows well-defined pathways in the body. The meridians of Qi can be thought of as "energy pathways." When they become congested, illness follows.
Another difference between an acupressure massage and a traditional Western massage is that while a traditional practitioner will apply pressure directly to an affected area, an acupuncture massage therapist more often than not focuses on a completely different part of the body. For example, he may apply pressure to an ear and/or a point between the toes in an effort to clear up a stomach complaint. This is because of the complex pathways Qi is said to take through the body.
How Can Chinese Acupressure Massage Benefit Me?
A skilled acupressure massage therapist may give you significant relief from a variety of conditions. Acupressure massage has been said to be able to help boost the immune system, eliminate toxic waste build-up in the body, stimulate the lymph nodes and improve blood circulation, amongst other things. Some of the specific ailments it can provide relief from include headaches, back pain, stress, low level depression, anxiety and many other disorders.
A Chinese Acupressure massage therapist will not claim to be able to cure or treat serious medical or psychological conditions. However, the techniques he employs may help hasten the recovery process. Most people come away from a Chinese acupressure massage session feeling refreshed and renewed in a way that is distinctly different from an ordinary massage. It is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated.