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If you’ve ever liked the idea of acupuncture but didn’t like the idea of needles then acupressure is probably something to try.  It’s based on the same Chinese philosophy as acupuncture and reflexology - that there are energy lines or meridians in the body that can benefit from manipulation.  It’s not that far from the concept that we have energy chakras - part of the basis of reiki - a much more passive practice.


Sometimes also called oriental meridian massage, it’s a speciality of the Mandarin Oriental spas, and indeed a key element of their signature treatment which I’ve now tried in Hong Kong and London.  (I preferred it in Hong Kong.)


Tui na is also another type of massage, very popular in China, which works along the same beliefs and may well be the same in practice.


By stimulating various key points in the body it is believed that the therapist can improve the flow of chi (universal energy) through the body and alleviate problems.


I must admit that sometimes it’s very hard to differentiate this type of massage from any other kind - the only major difference I have noticed in full body massages is the way that the legs are often lifted and pressure is applied in a more forceful way (but always very pleasurable in my experience).  In the past I think there’s been a tendency for certain reflexologists to be a little aggressive in the pursuit of wellbeing - but I have to say that all of my reflexology treatments - in the UK and China have been nothing but blissful.


For a first rate Acupressure massage I recommend the Mandarin Spa, Hong Kong (reviewed in Hong Kong Spa Princess).


Other spas that offer great treatments:

Tian Spa, Park Hyatt Beijing (reviewed in Beijing Spa Princess)

The Spa At Mandarin Oriental London (reviewed in London Day Spa Retreats)


See also Reflexology


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