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Chinese Massage PDF Print E-mail
City Life - Practical Tips
Written by Noruma Mueller
One of the nice things of being in China is the leisure of a massage. I started going to the massage a couple of weeks after I arrived in Xi’an and meanwhile I try to go every week. I do not know much about the science behind the chinese massage but as my teacher told me, chinese massage belongs to the tradicional chinese medicine and has a long history.

Like everywhere here in China, everything can be very easy or very complicated if you don’t understand people or if you can’t make yourself understood. Here I have a little simple list of words which can make massage going a bit easier. So you can understand and also express what you want while in the massage.

The name of the massage places

足疗 » zú liáo » Feet treatment  
按摩 » àn mó » Massage 
盲人按摩 » mang ren an mo » Massage done by blind persons

Massage choices

足疗 » feet treatment
头部理疗 » head massage (treatment / physiotherapy / ..)
背部理疗 » back massage
腹部理疗 » stomach
腰部理疗 » waist
臀部理疗 » buttocks

The first part of the expression is the part of the body, the second part describes the treatment

部 » bù » part of the body / area / region
疗 » liáo » treatment
理疗 » lĭ liáo » treatment / physiotherapy

Parts of the body

头 » tóu » head
背 » bèi » back
腹 » fù » stomach
腰 » yāo » waist
臀 » tún » buttocks
足 » zú » foot 
经络保健 » jing luo bao jian » acupoints or meridians

Massage styles

中式 » zhong shi » chinese style
泰式 » tai shi » thai style
港式 » gang style » hong kong style
欧式 » ou shi » european style

Other services

中式采耳 » zhong shi cai er » chinese style cleaning of the ears
修脚 » xiu jiao » pedicure (includes removing horny skin)
刮痧 » gua sha » Rubbing of the back with a stone (maybe not very relaxing!)
拔灌 » ba guan » cupping therapy

Who does the talking? Common verbs in the massage room

坐下来 » zuò xià lái » sit down (if you were standing)
坐起来 » zuò qĭ lái » sit up (if you were lying)
躺下来 » tăng xia lái » lie down
躺过来 » tăng qĭ lái » turn over  
重力 » zhòng li » strong
轻 » qīng » soft
疼 » téng » pain (it hurts)
疼不疼 » téng bu téng » does it hurt?

So how to say for example

kěyĭ zài zhòng li yi diăn ma? » stronger, please
Qing, zài zhòng diăn

Kěyĭ qīng diăn » softer please

轻点 » qing dian
可以 轻点 吗 » Keyi qing dian ma?

The temperature of the water (for the feet treatment)

常温 » chang wen » lukewarm
温 » wen » warm
热 » re » hot
烫 » tang » too hot

A bit hotter please

Keyi zai re yi dian ma? Zai tang yi dian

It is too hot, a bit cooler please

太烫了,请再凉一点 » tai tang le, qing zai liang yidian

And last but not least

按摩师 » an mo shi » masseur

I would like to have a masseur (1.) / a masseuse (2.)

1. 我 想请 一个 男按摩师 » wo xiang qing yige nan anmoshi
2. 我 想请 一个 女按摩师 » wo xiang qing yige nǚ anmoshi


Meridians are the pathways of the positive and negative energy power, which carry on some of the communication between the various parts of human beings.

 ► To read more about Meridians click here.
Our valuable Editor Noruma Mueller has been with us since Sunday, 02 August 2009.

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+1 #1 Peter 2009-10-20 17:23
excellent article Noruma. another very handy guide that i can print and take to the massage parlor with me.

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