The Diversity of Asian Massage Techniques

Posted on: 10 March 2017


Scheduling an Asian massage at a spa is not descriptive enough of what type of massage technique people desire. There are a number of massage forms common to different cultures around Asian. Each uses unique methods to achieve a variety of benefits. What they all have in common is their belief that energy lines in the body control health and general well being. The energy lines may be referred to as meridians, tsubo points or another term. Here are some of the most common forms of Asian massage and how they aid the recipient. 

Amma (Chinese Massage)

This technique is a form of deep tissue massage that uses pressure and friction. It is designed to provide better circulation through the tissue and to clear the energy channels in the body so they will work more productively. The massage therapist will apply different forms of tissue manipulation through stroking movements and vibrations to improve the nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Varma (Indian Massage)

Varma Kalai is interesting in that it can be a beneficial process or used as a form of self-defense. When used to aid the body the pressure points are triggered to promote healing. Patients suffering from pain or illness will receive a technique called vaidya Murai where the pressure points are activated by being struck with the hand or, in some cases, a stick. When used as a fighting method specific pressure points are struck to cause pain in the nerves, joints or elsewhere to disable the opponent. 

Shiatsu (Japanese Massage)

Shiatsu is probably the most familiar form of Asian massage. Therapists perform this method by kneading, tapping and pressing and stretching the body. It is unlike many other forms because it is also done without any oil and through clothing. Variants of the technique exist and some practitioners combine the massage with acupuncture as well. 

Nuad Bo Rarn (Thai Massage)

Like Shiatsu, Nuad Bo Rarn is completed while the client is fully clothed. The individual undergoing the treatment will recline on a special Thai Massage futon while the therapist applies compression and rhythmic strokes to the energy lines. The movements incorporate T'ai Chi and only use the thumb and palm. The process is said to relax the muscles, calm nerves and improve the health of the internal organs. The practitioner may also include yoga poses to help the client improve their mobility and have better circulation. This is done by the therapist guiding the client into the correct form by using their arms, legs, hands and feet. 

Lomilomi (Pacific Island Massage)

Hawaiian visitors may find themselves undergoing a Pacific Island massage known as Lomilomi. Here the practitioners use a variety of techniques to heal the body. They may perform the massage with their palms, forearms or their fingers or knuckles. Some will use their elbows, knees and feet. Traditional practitioners also include sticks or stones to perform the treatment.  Some salons offer the service and some practitioners perform the practice in their homes. It is not unusual for the exact technique to vary according to the region where it is performed.

If you're interested in a spa day and experiencing any of these massages, visit services like Silver Star Spa.