Bamboo has been used in Asia for thousands of years, for everything from being used as the first form of Chinese “paper” to being used to create bridges, furniture, musical instruments, decorations, building materials, art, utensils and farming tools. Bamboo has also always been used as a medicinal tea, and in soups and food preparation.
Bamboo is actually a very tall grass that grows extremely quickly, as much as a foot a day. It has been venerated in Asian culture as representing fertility, youth, durability, and prosperity.
While there’s no definite date when bamboo was introduced to massage, somewhere along the thousands of years that Traditional Chinese Medicine spread world-wide, bamboo came into use in the massage clinic.
Bamboo sticks are used in many kinds of massage, including Thai massage and shiatsu. Today there are new forms, including Bamboo-Fusion massage, which is a mix of Thai and tapotement, which uses varying lengths of bamboo sticks. Another contemporary form is Tian Di Bamboo Massage, which is formulated on the Chinese five elements theory, incorporating wood, fire, earth, metal, and using “cho” sticks (bamboo in Chinese) of different sizes.
Image courtesy of: BCA IL 101 Team 2
Sometimes heated sticks and essential oils are used; sometimes bamboo sticks are used in conjunction with reflexology on the hands and feet.
Bamboo massage techniques – including rolling, stroking, using pressure, and other techniques, allow practitioners to delve deeply into the tissue while taking the strain off their own hands and fingers — so it benefits therapists as well as clients.
Check out the video to see how therapists use bamboo in their practice.
Photo By pelecia.robert