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Ancient Chinese techniques

...still work today - Wish you could go to a luxurious spa and have a massage, but don't have the time or money? You can give YOURSELF a massage! And if you're having trouble sleeping, practicing tai chi chih, the Westernized version of a 2,000-year-old Chinese martial art, works better than sleeping pills.

Based on medical traditions more than 2,000 years old, Chinese self-massage techniques can help release tension and reduce anxiety?without the cost of visiting a professional therapist. Called Dao yin (DOW-in), these techniques are part of a larger branch of Chinese medicine called qi gong (che-kung), meaning "energy work," which aims to maintain and restore balance and harmony of the body's various parts.

Here's how to do it: Start by rubbing your hands together quickly until they are warmed by friction. Place the palms on the forehead and, pressing into your face, pull your hands down until your fingertips touch your chin. Circle your hands around your face a couple of times as if washing it.

Next, rub your hands together and cover your eyes with your warm palms. Hold for about 30 seconds with your eyes open to receive the warmth of your hands.

After that, use your thumb and index finger to gently rub your outer ears until they are warm. Gently pinch and press the whole ear.

Last, to a shoulder massage. Reach back to your shoulder and neck with one hand and press and knead the muscles in that area. Repeat on the other side.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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