What Is an Oriental Massage?

All oriental massages involve treating the sensitive parts of the body by massaging them with oils.
In an Indonesian-Javanese massage, the therapist uses her knuckles and hands to help ease muscle pain and tightness.
During a Thai massage the therapist manipulates the body of the client to help achieve relaxation.
Shiatsu massage was developed in Japan.
Oriental massage focuses on many of the same vital spots manipulated in acupuncture, only without the needles.
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  • Written By: R. Petrossian
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 02 April 2015
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An oriental massage is an ancient form of therapy designed to relieve pain and tension in joints and muscles, reduce stress, enhance circulation of blood and preserve an overall healthy body and peaceful mind. This type of massage originated in the Far East and is based on the theories of Chinese medicine using the concept of energy, or chi, that flows throughout the body. This form of therapy treats tender parts of the body by massaging them with the fingers, thumbs and palms with the use of massage oils. There are several types of oriental massage methods but the most popular ones are Thai, Shiatsu and Indonesian-Javanese massages, all of which focus on the pressure points of the body, similar to Chinese acupuncture methods.

Thousands of years ago, Thai therapy was designed in Thailand by Buddhist monks. This form of massage incorporates breathing and stretching techniques. Thai therapy is also called "lazy yoga," because instead of the patient attempting to stretch the body parts, a therapist or a skilled masseur performs the act of stretching. This type of oriental massage specifically affects the nervous system and balances the flow of energy in the body, which leads to a more harmonized body and mind. It also enhances flexibility if performed regularly.


Shiatsu, another form of ancient oriental massage, was developed in Japan. This method is similar to Chinese acupuncture except that instead of using needles, only fingers are used. Deep breathing is an important factor in this method. Shiatsu can boost the immune system and, if it is practiced regularly, the patient can develop better digestion and reproduction systems. A further benefit to the body through consistent Shiatsu is a better posture. Shiatsu done frequently will lead to a more peaceful mind.

Indonesian-Javanese massage is done by a therapist using the hands and knuckles. This method of massage is an excellent therapy to help relieve back aches and muscle tensions. The hands and knuckles are used to massage the body, so this type of oriental massage can be somewhat painful, but the benefits are equal to those of Thai and Shiatsu.

Oriental massage has become a popular form of therapy throughout the world. Different methods of Chinese and Japanese massage are used in drug rehab centers and and in hospitals for cancer and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. These methods are used as a form of relaxation to help the patients control and reduce stress and maintain a balance between the body and the soul.



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Post 2

For my cousin’s bridal shower, a bunch of us girls decided to go to an oriental spa rather than something more traditional. It was a wonderful experience! The spa focuses on the mind, body, and spirit rather than just the body.

Every element was chosen for its spiritual and healing properties. There were no phones ringing, no employees talking amongst themselves. Very Zen. I don’t think I have ever been so relaxed. And talk about a great way to ease any pre-wedding nerves.

The hot stone massage was amazing. We drank tea, took hot spring baths, and got soothing skin treatments. If you have ever wanted to go to a day spa, do it! Our experience with the oriental spa was wonderful.

Post 1

I am a big advocate for the benefits of Thai massage. I have been getting Thai massages for about two years now. I can personally attest to the increased flexibility. I don’t know about balancing energy, but I do know getting these massages helps me feel great.

A full session lasts upwards of two hours. It can even include the masseur walking on your back. I was very skeptical of that at first, but have had it done. It is worth giving a try.

There are no oils used, so you are fully clothed. This is appealing for those who don’t want to be in the buff for a massage. I am not a big fan of oils on my skin, anyway. The best way to describe this kind of massage is energizing but relaxing.

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