Asian Massage Guide for London

Category: Massage
Last updated on: 06/09/2023
Photo of Asian massage therapist performing Chinese massage in London

The central question of where massage was invented will probably never be agreed upon but there is little doubt, Asian massage styles are some of the world’s most widely practiced and popular.

Enjoy the best Asian massage London has to offer by discovering all the most popular types in this article. 


What is Asian massage?

Asian massage therapy encompasses any massage treatment originating from the Asian continent, which is the largest and most populated on Earth with 48 countries and over 60% of the world's population.

It is a region rich in history, culture, and diversity. Though geographically and culturally diverse, most people tend to associate Asian products and services with China, India, Japan, or Thailand, including therapeutic Asian massage treatments.


Jump to Chinese Massages

Jump to Japanese Massages

Jump to Thai Massages

Jump to Indian Massages

Jump to Other Asian Massages


Most Asian countries have their own unique massage styles, but Chinese, Indian  and Thai massages are the best recognised in the West.

A common thread among these Asian massage styles is their focus on improving blood flow by working with vital energy and meridian lines throughout the body.

Most Asian treatments are performed as full body massages.



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Vital Energy and Meridian Lines

In the Western world, massage is often seen as a complementary or alternative remedy. However, in Asia, massage therapy is an integral part of the core medicinal system.

Illustration of vital energy flow and meridian lines relevant to all Asian massage techniques

Asian massage therapies often revolve around the concept that life includes not only physiological aspects but also vital energy. Maintaining a healthy existence requires free-flowing and balanced vital energy.

External factors like emotional problems, mental anxiety, or a poor diet can disrupt the flow of vital energy and blood, leading to weakened health and unhappiness. Skillful massage techniques, focusing on specific zones of the body known as meridian lines, can help restore the correct balance, flow of energy and blood circulation.

Depending on which part of Asia you visit or are in, you may hear the teachings of vital energy variously referred to as:

Qi, Chi or Yin & Yang (in China, Japan and elsewhere in the Far East)

Pranas or Chakras (in India)

Rūḥ and Ruah (in Arabic Middle Eastern countries)


Whether you're receiving a Japanese Asian massage or Arabic massage, your masseuse has probably been taught to deliver her physical movements in line with philosophies of vital force energy.



Chinese Massage in London

We offer a wide range of options for experiencing the best Chinese massage London has to offer. Our team includes highly experienced and professional Chinese massage therapists who provide their services on a mobile basis for your convenience.

An ancient form of massage and health, traditional Chinese massage techniques have been practiced and used as a key part of Chinese medicine since over 4,000 years ago. 

The two primary methods of Chinese therapeutic massage are Tui Na and Zhi Ya. These techniques embody the fundamental principles of Chinese healing, such as energy flow (Qi), meridians, acupuncture, and herbal medicine.


Tui Na

Tui Na predominantly employs petrissage techniques, which include kneading, pushing, and pulling motions.

Tui Na shares similarities with Western styles like such as classic Swedish massage and Deep Tissue massage, as it aims for overall relaxation and muscle tension relief.


Zhi Ya

Zhi Ya centres around deep tissue manipulation, utilising pressing and pinching methods.

Zhi Ya is a treatment style which focuses on acupressure points, similar to Reflexology Foot Massage and Shiatsu massage, focusing on specific zones for therapeutic benefits.

A person receiving a Chinese massage in London, with traditional Chinese massage techniques

Other Chinese Massage Methods

Beyond Tui Na and Zhi Ya, there are other forms of massage that incorporate Chinese techniques or philosophies, though they are not considered main branches of traditional Chinese massage.


Chi Nei Tsang

An amalgamation of techniques from all over Asia, Chinese Chi Nei Tsang concentrates on abdominal massage. Therapists use rhythmic, deep yet gentle strokes to detoxify and harmonise the internal digestive system.

Chi Nei Tsang incorporates principles from Ayurvedic philosophy, aiming to create a balanced internal environment conducive to better health.


Chinese Foot Massage

Reflexology has gained popularity in the West over the past 50 years. However, in Asia, massaging feet has been a common practice for thousands of years. In places like India, it is a natural part of daily care routines, and you'll often see people sitting at the side of the road massaging their own feet.

Person receiving Asian style Chinese reflexology foot massage

Foot massage variations in Asia follow the same principles as foot reflexology. Feet have distinct zones corresponding to vital organs. Applying pressure to these zones clears energy blockages in the corresponding organs and surrounding muscles, leading to improved organ function and better health.

Asian massage therapists may use their hands or special instruments like a wooden stick to massage the feet. While the jury is still out on which is better for the recipient, some prefer sticks as they put less strain on the therapist's hands, preventing repetitive strain injuries often faced by professionals in this field.


Chinese Cupping Therapy

Chinese massage cupping therapy is a distinct and surprising style compared to others mentioned here. Using glass or silicone cups, the therapist places them on your body, creates a vacuum by heating the cups, and your skin is slightly drawn up into the cup for about 5 to 10 minutes.

This movement of blood helps release muscle tension, reducing aches and pains. It is considered an extreme treatment, but it can be effective for certain painful conditions.

Person receiving Asian Chinese cupping massage, with several cups placed on their back. The cups create suction on the skin and are said to promote healing and relaxation.

After a cupping therapy session, the treated area may look unattractive with red round circles where the cups were placed. These marks are a result of increased blood flow during the therapy and usually fade after a short while, though they may last a day for some individuals.

The origins of cupping therapy are uncertain, as it is not clear whether it originated in ancient China or ancient Egypt. While not strictly Asian, cupping therapy is widely practiced in Asia and has gained popularity in the West, including among celebrities who often embrace unique and unconventional treatments.



Japanese Massages

Japanese massage therapies encompass a variety of techniques aimed at achieving holistic wellness. From the relaxing strokes of Anma to the pressure-point focus of Shiatsu, each method offers unique benefits for body and mind.

Asian massage therapist performing Japanese style technique in London

Explore Further:

Interested in Shiatsu?

For a comprehensive guide to Shiatsu and to book your session, visit our dedicated Shiatsu page.

Discover More Japanese Techniques:

To learn about other Japanese massage styles available in London, explore our complete Japanese Massage guide.



Thai massages

Thai massage boasts a rich history and diverse techniques. Originating in India around the time of Buddha, it has been perfected in Thailand and incorporates 'dry' and 'wet' forms. Whether you're seeking the deep stretches of traditional Thai massage or the soothing effects of a Thai-Oil combination, it's essential to consult experienced therapists for best results.

Asian massage therapist performing Thai style technique in London

Explore Further:

Book a Traditional Thai Session:

For a comprehensive guide to Thai massage and to secure your appointment, visit our dedicated Thai Massage page.



Indian Massages

Indian Massages in London offer a range of holistic treatments rooted in ancient traditions. From the Indian Head Massage, which concentrates on relieving tension in the upper body, to the deeply spiritual Ayurvedic Massage, each has its unique merits.


Ayurvedic Massage

One of the world's oldest forms of massage, Ayurvedic therapy encompasses traditional Indian philosophies and offers variants like Abhyanga and Pizhichil. Practiced across luxury spas globally, its principles still form the basis of many Asian massages.

Asian massage therapist performing Indian style technique in London

Learn More About Ayurvedic Massage:

For an in-depth look into Ayurvedic principles and to book a session, visit our dedicated Ayurvedic Massage page.


Indian Head massage

Integrated into our specialised Jet Lag treatments, the Indian Head Massage targets the scalp, neck, and head. Utilising acupressure techniques, it offers relief from stress-related symptoms like headaches and insomnia.

Massage therapist performing Asian Head Indian style technique in London

Discover the Benefits:

For more information and to book your Indian Head Massage session, click here.



Other Unique Asian Massages in London

While Chinese massage and other familiar Asian massage styles may have a strong presence in London, the Asian continent offers a plethora of other unique and effective massage therapies that contribute to the rich tapestry of Asian health and wellness traditions.

Variety of unique Asian massage techniques

Indonesian Massages: A Hidden Gem in Asian Massage

Javanese Massage:

Originating from Java, this robust therapy uses the entire hand to penetrate tissues deeply. Effective for targeting muscle aches and joint pains, it's a perfect complement to Chinese massage techniques. Comparable to European Sports Massage, Javanese massage offers a more vigorous experience.


Balinese Massage:

Known for its aromatic oils and gentler touch, this Indonesian massage style blends techniques from Ayurvedic, Thai-yoga, and Swedish aromatherapy massages. Ideal for total relaxation and an alternative to more traditional Asian massages.


Korean Massages: A Touch of the Orient


This Korean therapy rejuvenates the body through focused acupressure points, employing techniques similar to Western deep tissue massage.


Filipino Massages: A Southeast Asian Speciality


Native to the Philippines, Hilot incorporates chirotherapy and focuses on realigning the body’s energy. Often used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, it's another intriguing option for lovers of Asian massage.


Vietnamese Massages: The Fusion of Reflexology and Acupressure

Tam Quat:

This Vietnamese massage technique combines elements of reflexology and acupressure, often accompanied by herbal steam baths. It adds an exotic flavour to the rich array of Asian massages in London.


Tibetan Massages: The Spirituality of Asian Massage


This ancient Tibetan therapy uses herbal-infused oils for balance and tranquillity, aiming to harmonise the body's energies. A more spiritual approach to Asian massage that you may not have considered.



A Note on Terminology: 'Oriental' vs 'Asian'

The term "oriental" has historically been used to describe people and practices from East and Southeast Asia. However, it's worth noting that this term is now considered outdated and potentially offensive by some. The more inclusive and accurate term "Asian" is now widely accepted.

Whether you are exploring various styles of Asian massage or are new to the experience, we hope the information provided in this post helps guide you in finding the most suitable massage treatment in London!


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