These days, massage is already generally recognized to be a form of relaxation, therapy, and de-stressing, which is a lot different from how it was referred to thousands of years ago. Actually, what we understand about massage today may have a big difference from what it started out as due to constant changes in our technology and culture. Nevertheless, the fundamental practices and the techniques involved in ancient massages still remain to be quite similar to modern massages offered nowadays.

There are a lot of variations of what is generally called the Asian Massage; of course, each Asian country has its own version. Let’s find out how the practice of massage sprouted and what their principles are in various Asian lands to see how each has evolved to its modern-day versions.


It is believed that the most ancient form of massage therapy was founded in China way back in 2700 B.C.E. This is, by far, considered as the earliest written record of massage amongst all the other countries in the world. An antique Chinese book with the title “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine” that discusses Chinese medicinal traditions backs this information. In 1949, this book has been published in English and has then become considered as one of the basic books used in learning acupuncture, massage therapy, and is further frequently used as a textbook for teaching many other methods of alternative medicine such as acupressure and herbology.

Chinese massage methods started from the belief that diseases and illnesses occur because of a deficiency or imbalance in the energy in specific pathways or meridians inside our body. It is thought that our energy will flow more harmoniously and would enable our body to mend itself naturally through massage and other specific bodywork techniques.


The practice of massage in India can be estimated way back to the time of the first Indo-Aryan civilization, however, there is a big chance that this practice was already being performed even on the previous era. India’s ancient practice of home massage plays a big role in their religion, which is not like China’s therapeutic massage that mainly focuses on alternative medicines and healing. In fact, Indian massage represents an important cultural function, which was often linked to social, religious, or ritual traditions.  The classic Ayurveda (the traditional holistic medical system in India) books, however, still state that massage is beneficial to health and advise it as an almost essential healing factor.

Ayurveda is believed to be of divine origin and carried down verbally through generations. Ancient sages and natural scientists developed the Ayurveda system together based on centuries of studies, trials, and meditations. It indicates that people acquire illnesses and diseases when they live out of harmony with their environment and they need to restore their natural mental and physical balance by renewing harmony between themselves and the world around them to get healed. Therapies in Ayurveda involve diet and herbalism, aromatherapy, color therapy, sound therapy and touch therapy (massage).


Beginning around 1000 BCE, Japanese monks who were studying Buddhism in China have observed the healing techniques of traditional Chinese medicine including massage therapy. Soon enough, Japan started to import and customize these Chinese massage techniques, which then gave way to the traditional Japanese massage called Anma. In the 1940s, Anma, together with massage systems from other styles were arranged and systematized by Tokujiro Namikoshi, which eventually grew into what we now know as Shiatsu.

The principal goal of Shiatsu is to boost the energy level in the patient, which, in return, would regulate and strengthen the functioning of our organs and would stimulate our natural endurance to illnesses. Shiatsu massage practitioners stimulate pressure points in the body in an attempt to rebalance the person’s energy. Unlike acupuncture, a shiatsu massage is performed without needles or other instruments; instead, therapists maximize the use of their thumbs, fingers, and palms. Through Shiatsu, patients are able to gain balance in both their physical and emotional health.

Asian Massage Nowadays:

If you have noticed, the different types of Asian massage have almost the same principles – to keep the balance of our energy, mind, body, and soul. These principles are still kept until now even after thousands of years have passed. Through modernization and new studies, many techniques and methods have changed, however, Asian massage’s main purpose and beliefs has remained and shall always remain the same.

Which Spa Offers the Best Asian Massage in the Philippines?

If you have been inspired to try one of these Asian massages after learning their history and principles, you’re lucky because there are various spas that offer Asian massage in the Philippines; one spa, however, stands out in the Metro Manila area of the country. Regarded as one of the best Asian massages in BGC, Taguig, Breeze Oriental Spa offers therapeutic massage incorporated with traditional Chinese medicines. Additionally, therapists that are extensively trained by experts from China perform each massage session, so if you’re considering having an authentic Asian massage, visiting this place must be on your bucket list.