When wondering the streets of Nanjing, I had seen some signs for “Blind Massage”. If you look really close or know how to read Chinese, the sign –‘盲人按摩’. I had waiting quite some time before actually going into my first blind massage. I was skeptical, not sure how to ask for a massage, but more importantly looking for a TCM practice (Traditional Chinese Medicine) to relieve stress in the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Although blind massage has a long history in China (the first blind masseur is said to be the 8th-century Buddhist monk Jianzhen, who practiced the treatment after losing his sight during old age), it was only in the late 1990s that blind massage clinics began. but it was not until 1996, when “the Chinese Massage Association of Blind Practitioners was established, that professional training became widely offered. From 2006, a government initiative under the auspices of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation saw the number of clinics and training facilities soar, and today there are estimated to be more than 100,000 blind massage therapists across the country” (Liu,2014) One of the reasons why blind massages are popular, is the locals believe that not having your sight, will increase your other senses.
My all-time favorite parlor to go to in Nanjing, is one next to a popular bar called Secco, near Nanjing University. Walking into the parlor, it’s quite understated and not really anything special about it. You can have different services offered and a 1-hour full body massage is 88RMB. A good price for an hour of stress relief. There are a couple of different rooms with two-three massage tables. When I have visited, I have been the only one in the room. The one thing about the massage, they know where the hidden tension is in your body. There is no “soft” phase. It’s a deep intuitive massage. They will make all the tension, melt away.
I find these massage to help with the stress relief and my overall well-being. It’s a neat experience and I’m hooked to be honest. If you ever have an hour to spend and want to feel refreshed and be tension free. I would highly recommend getting a “Blind Massage”.
By Andrew NJ1
Liu, G. (2014, April 17). A touch better: blind masseurs. In Timeout Beijing . Retrieved from http://www.timeoutbeijing.com/
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