Kung Fu and Back Rubs: The Art of Massage

I cannot wait to go back to the Talega Day Spa.

I’d been there once before about a year ago, but after this interview with Minh Luong, massage therapist and spa coordinator for the Talega Day Spa, I am a ready to espouse the benefits of massage with the fervor of a religious fanatic.

Sure, the sauna, steam room and multi-faucet shower are a pampering bonus, but with the massage, you can actually feel the tension leave your body.

Watch Minh in the three videos work magic on my back and head and get the secrets on how and why it works.

And that’s exactly what Minh wants. To him, massages are about maintaining wellness, not offering a luxury.

“My clients don’t come for a fluff massage; they come because they want to feel better. Unless they get that ‘good hurt,’ they don’t feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth,” he said.

Types of Massages

Massages are like martial arts in that many countries have their own styles. Different countries have special martial-arts disciplines: the Japanese have karate, Chinese have kung fu, Koreans have tae kwon do, and Thais have muay thai, Minh explained.

With massage, Japanese have shiatsu, the Chinese have tui na, Thais have Thai massages, and Europeans have Swedish massages, Minh said.

A typical Swedish massage uses light to medium pressure to improve blood flow and circulation. A Thai massage is traditionally performed with the patient on the floor, fully clothed, and incorporates more stretching. It allows the massage therapist to use his or her knees and feet in addition to the hands, which creates varying degrees of pressure and the massage therapist can be more creative, Minh said.

Shiatsu and tui na both follow the meridian lines, which are paths of energy that flow through our bodies, to find and expel the bad energy in our bodies (such as tension and stress).

In fact, the same pressure points used in tui na to promote healing are the same points kung fu masters use to inflict pain, Minh explained; it’s the person’s intention that matters. Continue reading …

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