Part 1: Mechnism of Chinese Massage

Massage is a Chinese medical therapy with various manipulations applied to certain parts of the human body (including specified passive movement of the limbs) to prevent diseases. One factor is the quality of the manipulation and the other factor is the exceptional effect of the manipulated locations, channels and collaterals, and points. Therefore, generally speaking, when the curative effect of massage is working upon one specified location of the body through manipulations, the direct effect of its stress can act locally to promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis, restore and treat injured soft tissues, correct deformity and abnormal location of bones and soft tissues in anatomic site. On the other hand, dynamic wave signals of the manipulation can reflexively influence the physiological function and pathological state of the body fluid, Qi and blood, ying, wei, cerebrospine, viscera, mind and emotion, etc. through the conducting channels points and collaterals viscera so as to effect a recuperative medical function over other part of the body or whole body. The main acting principles are as follows:

4 -1. Regulating Yin and Yang

Yin and yang are a pair of concepts in the ancient Chinese philosophy, representing respectively one part of a thing "exposed to the sun", and the remaining part "facing the opposite direction of the sun, " the former being yang and the latter yin. Later, this concept was extended to explain any two opposite sides or phenomena that nourish each other, supplement each other or wane and wax mutually (one wanes, the other waxes or vice versa) and transform to each other, which gradually developed into yin-yang theory. As early as more than two thousand years ago, yin-yang theory was introduced into TCM and became an important part of its basic theory, explaining the organic structure, the physiological function and the pathologic change of the human body and guiding clinical diagnosis and treatment.

According to yin-yang theory, every part of the human body is consisted of two opposite but unified materials or functions, i.e. yin and yang. So far as the structure of the human body is concerned, the exterior is yang whereas the interior is yin; the upper part is yang and the lower part is yin; the back is yang and the abdomen yin. So far as the zang and fu organs are concerned, the six fu-organs are yang and the five zang-organs yin. So far as Qi and blood are concerned, Qi is yang and blood yin. In terms of function and material, function is yang and material yin. In terms of functioning status, excitement is yang and depression yin; activity is yang and stasis yin; growth is yang and decline yin.

As for the functional activity of Qi, upward is yang and downward yin; outward is yang while inward yin, etc. If yin and yang are in dynamic equilibrium, life activity will remain in a healthy state of balance But if the balance of yin and yang is broken due to the six pathogenic factors, seven emotions or traumatic injuries and so on, there can be such pathogenic changes as an excess of yang causing heat syndrome and an excess of yin cold one; an excess of yin leading to disorder of yang, excess of yang disorder of yin; insufficiency of yang causing exterior cold syndrome, deficiency of yin interior heat one, etc. Clinical syndromes inclined to yin, yang, exterior, interior, cold, heat, deficiency, excess of different degrees and properties may be present.

Massage treatment follows the principle described in The Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic as "examining carefully
the status of yin and yang so as to get them in balance.” That is to say, massagists should, according to different diagnosis results, use different manipulations which may be mild, powerful, slow, quick, vigorous or soft in order to treat the illness, of deficiency type by using tonifying methods, excess syndromes with the purgative and reductive manipulation, heat syndromes with methods of cold or cool nature, cold syndromes with hot-natured methods, stasis by dissipation, stagnation and accumulation of pathogen by diffusion methods, exopathogens in the superficies of the body by dispersion, and half exterior and half interior syndromes by mediation, thus changing the relative excessiveness of yin and yang, regulating their relationship and restoring their balance, eliminating pathogen and recovering the vital-Qi.

The deficiency of yin, deficiency of yang or deficiency of both yin and yang of the corresponding viscera can be rectified when using light, soft and slow pushing with one-finger meditation, or using kneading and rubbing therapies by stimulating the specified Front-Mu points, Shu points and other adjunct points. The relatively strong or powerful manipulations such as rubbing, scrubbing or squeezing and pressing therapies can expel pathogenic factors and reduce excessiveness.


For the diseases of cold, deficiency and yin types, relatively slow and soft rhythmical manipulations can be used for comparatively a longer time to make the patients feel warmth and heat, to promote Qi circulation by warming yang. Furthermore, scrubbing mildly at the waist can nourish yin, remove fire, clear away deficiency heat from the blood. Pushing mildly of Du channel from Dazhui to sacrum or coccyx can clear away excessive heat from Qi system while pushing forcefully along the same route can cool the blood and clear away excessive heat from the blood system.

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ChangChou Chinese Tuina (TCM) Hospital
ChangChou, Jinan, Shandong Province, China 321503
Phone:0086-139-9820-6370 (foreign)
Phone:(0)-139-9820-6370 (domestic)
Email: Dr. ZhangLie