As part of a massage treatment I nearly always work on some of the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some of my clients believe in them, occasionally I have a client who knows about t hem before I explain what I am doing even! Most of my clients, if asked would probably say they don’t really believe in them in the sense that they don’t believe energy flows through these channels but do believe that there is a Western medical explanation that will one day be found. There is strong evidence in Western terms for the effectiveness of some of the acupuncture/acupressure points used but no convincing explanation of how they work in Western terms.
Be that as it may, I do believe that there will one day be an explanation that fits the Western view of medical matters which I learned long before I was introduced to TCM, though it may not come in my lifetime. Some of the essential oils I use, the links between TCM and the western system are less opaque. Tea Trea in the Chinese system strengthens defensive Qi. In Western terms, it helps boost the immune system. Other oils which in TCM clear Damp from the system, have a diuretic effect. Again a clear correlation with bloating and water retention being symptoms of both Damp Cold and Damp Heat.
The time when I find this part of the massage most helpful is when the client is either feeling very stuck with something or if they are depressed. Both symptoms of blocked Qi in the Eastern way of looking at things. Combing this massage with oils such as Frankincense and Bergamot allow the energy to flow freely and the client to move on or have their depression eased.
However, as always when working with TCM, the idea is to help the client restore the correct balance in their energies, between Damp and Dryness, Heat and Cold, Yin and Yang. Symptoms such as depression are a sign of a pattern of disharmony in the body and restoring this harmony is what helps.