Imagine this: a client has just settled in for a massage. The spa professional goes to retrieve some tools, only to come back with a meat cleaver in each hand. No, this is not a scene from “Sweeny Todd.” This ancient tradition reaches back over 2,000 years. In imperial China, Buddhist monks gave knife massages, or dao liao, to the very ill when other medical treatments failed. Today, massage therapists in Taipei, Taiwan still use the traditional Chinese therapy. The method is used to help clients relax and release bad energy. It is believed to inspire cell renewal, loosen up blood vessels, and improve circulation.
The massage is not dangerous, as the knives are dull and the massage therapists are trained. Knife therapy may seem scary, but health centers in Taiwan receive many clients who swear by the technique.