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Wooden massager, Japan, 1801-1900

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is also practised in Japan. Qi is the energy or life force that flows through meridians, or channels, in the body. Disease and illness occur when qi becomes blocked. Acupuncture or massage is thought to unblock the meridians. This 19th century massage roller is identical to many available in shops today. Massage has become a popular treatment worldwide. It is thought to relax both mind and body.

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Glossary: massage

The rubbing or kneading of parts of the body especially to aid circulation, relax the muscles, or provide sensual stimulation.

Glossary: massager

Instrument used to give or accentuate impact of massage.

Glossary: physiotherapy

Exercise helpful to those with physical illness, for example stroke, or back injuries. A physical therapist is a specialist trained in using exercise and physical activities to condition and improve muscles.