Chinese Martial Arts and Pain Relief

Most of us are acquainted with martial arts based on what we see on TV and the movies; Jacky Chan, Steven Segal, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee etc.

Some of the most popular martial arts in practize today include Judo, Tek Kwan Do, Karate, which have made it to the Olympic Games, Akido, Tai Chi and Qigong, which are not in the Olympic Games as yet. Although some of these martial arts come from Korea and Japan, the roots of most martial arts can be traced to China.

It is believed that all martial arts can be traced to the Shaolin Temple and the Wudang Hills in China. In reality, there must be hundreds of different types of martial arts practized in China, including the more popular BaQuaQuan, TangLangQuan, TaiChi, HouQuan, etc.

Training injuries, bruises and cuts are common during practizes and sparring sessions in martial arts schools. In fact, injuries are so common that most martial arts teachers also double up as doctors in treating aches and pains that come from sporting and training injuries.

The common ways to treat pain and ache in martial arts schools include:


Accupuncture needles are inserted at the right accupoints or meridians in various part of the human body to relieve pain and tension of the muscle. A trained accupunture practioner is required to carry out such treatment.

Tui Na

A form of Chinese accupressure massage where muscles aches and pain are relieved through massaging the right accupoints and meridians. This may sometimes be used in conjunction with heat pads.

Herbal Plasters

Almost every martial arts school has their own secret formula for a herbal plaster. These plasters are mostly herbal conconction and used to treat pain, bruises and aches caused by training and actual fights. These herbal plasters are very effective and bruises and pain tend to disappear very fast once the plasters are applied to the injured area.

Herbal Ointments

Used mostly in conjunction with TuiNa or massage, these ointments are also herbal liquid formulas handed down from generation after generation. They are extremely popular and almost every martial arts school will have their 'own brand' of herbal ointment.

Today, accupuncture and TuiNa has made it to mainstream sports schools and even hospitals in China and also gaining much prominence and popularity in sports schools and hospitals in Asia and the Western countries.

In fact, accupuncture is used for many forms of treatments including backaches, kicking cigarette habits, menopause pain, migrane etc

TuiNa has also made it into mainstream life as a form of relaxation massage in addition to it's use for treating pain and ache.

Many martial arts schools has also tied up with pharmaceutical companies to produce modern versions of their herbal plasters and ointments in hygienic, scientific and environmentally controlled factories. These herbal plasters and ointments are produced in large quantities and has made their way into most Asian homes and families. Most families will have these plasters and ointments in their cabinets to treat pain ranging from arthritis, shoulder and neck aches, back pain, ankle pain etc.

Some of these brands are now household brands in Asian societies. They are also slowly making their way into Western countries.

Ken Cheong

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