• Kembali ke Website Pertuni - www.pertuni.or.id
  • Testimony
  • Berita Tunanetra
  • Blog
  • World Blind Union Publications

  • Kamis, 09 Juli 2009

    World Blind Union Asia Pacific Regional Massage Commission: Newsletter (Issue No.2)

    World Blind Union Asia Pacific Regional Massage Commission
    Newsletter (Issue No.2)
    July 2009

    Published by World Blind Union Asia Pacific Regional Massage Commission

    Membership List
    Foreword by Mr Zhu Gang, Chairman WBU Asia Pacific Regional Massage Commission
    Clinical Experience in Treating Functional Constipation with Lumbar-abdominal Tuina
    Zhu Gang, Peng Na, Xiao Dan and Hou Yi (China)
    Guidelines of the Traditional Japanese Physical Therapy
    Keishi Yoshikawa (Japan)
    Massage Education in Japan
    Shigenobu Maeda (Japan)
    Massage Development of Vietnam Blind Association
    Cao Van Thanh (Vietnam)
    Preparation for National Medical License Examination of Visually Impaired Masseurs and Masseuses in Thailand
    Pecharat Techavachara (Thailand)
    What’s New
    1. Regulations on Blind Medical Massage has been promulgated in The People’s Republic of China

    2. The website Blind Massage International is going to launch soon
    3. The Acupressure and Massage Training Course for the Visually Impaired in Hong Kong has been upgraded from Certificate Level to Diploma Level
    News of 10th WBU Asia Pacific Regional Massage Seminar
    Newsletter Editorial Committee


    World Blind Union Asia Pacific Regional Massage Commission
    Membership List (2008-2012)

    Founding Chairman

    Mrs Grace Chan, RSW, JP (Hong Kong)
     grace@afpb.hk


    Mr Zhu Gang (China)
     penglei@yeahcome.com


    Prof. Dr Keishi Yoshikawa (Japan)
     m.kyoshiri@sakura.cc.tsukuba.ac.jp

    Ms Maureen Tam (Hong Kong)
     maureen.tam@hksb.org.hk

    Secretary General

    Mr Wang Jian Jun (China)
     amzx_amc@163.com

    Deputy Secretary General

    Mr Kim Mok (Hong Kong)
     kim.alum@hkbu.edu.hk


    Mr Mahboob Ahsan (Bangladesh)
     mahboobahsan2003@yahoo.com

    Mr Boun Mao (Cambodia)
     boun.mao@online.com.kh

    Mr Yoshihiko Sasagawa (Japan)
     ncwbj@mbm.nifty.com

    Mr Kwon In Hee (Korea)
     kbuwel@yahoo.co.kr

    Ms Norimah Hj. Ahmad (Malaysia)
     nuri_relex707@yahoo.com

    Captain Oscar J Taleon (Philippines)
     ojtaleon@pacific.net.ph

    Mr Pecharat Techavachara (Thailand)
     fepb@ksc.th.com

    Mr Cao Van Thanh (Vietnam)
     caovanthanhhnm@gmail.com

    Foreword by Mr Zhu Gang

    WBU Asia Pacific Regional Massage Commission
    As Chairman of the WBUAP Regional Massage Commission, I feel privileged to write the Foreword for the second issue of the WBUAP Regional Massage Commission Newsletter.
    First of all, I would like to thank members of the Newsletter Editorial Board for their hard efforts as well as board members for their contributions in sending us articles so that the second issue of the Newsletter could be published as scheduled.
    In the second issue of the Newsletter, I would like to share with members some of my thoughts in the blind massage development and our way forward:
    1. To begin with, I am gratifying to see that nine WBU Asia Pacific Regional Massage Seminars have been held successfully. The achievements made so far are obvious to all. For this, many people have made arduous efforts, and many board members of WBU Asia Pacific Regional Massage Commission had made extraordinary contributions to the blind massage industry of the Asian Pacific Region. I would like to pay special tribute to Mrs. Grace Chan, Mr. Sasagawa and Mr. Li Zhijun, for their immense contributions to promote massage as a profession for the blind in the past eight years.
    Now, the preparations for the 10th WBU Asia Pacific Regional Massage Seminar which is to be held in Seoul, Korea in May, 2010 are aggressively underway. Hereby, we should extend our hearty thanks to the Korean Organizing Committee and all the participants for their unremitting efforts for preparing the seminar.

    2. The living standards and social status of the disabled is an important indicator to measure the level of social development and civilization. The World Health Organization announced in October 2003, the global number of the blind is 45 million, and visually impaired population has reached 135 million. This number increases in the region of 1 to 2 million every year.
    According to our experience, people with visual impairment are more difficult in finding jobs than the able-bodied. Therefore, how to solve the employment problem of the large number of blind people has become a major issue confronting the world. Massage, which has the significant effects with its characteristics of easy manipulation, no damage, and no side effects, is welcome by people in many countries. According to statistics from the occupational information resources networking systems of the United States Department of Labor, from 2004 to 2014, the massage industry’s growth rate will exceed the industry of all types’ average growth level of 21% to 35%. As the physiological characteristics of the blind are suitable for working in the massage profession, massage will provide the blind with lots of employment opportunities.
    Currently, the blind massage technology is improving. The social status and income of blind masseurs are both raised and the supports from the society are enhanced. Based on these, the blind massage in many countries and regions has been vigorously developed. While the prospects are bright, the roads are not smooth with ups and downs. Although the development of blind massage has made great achievements, there exists many difficulties and obstacles. How to promote the development of the Asia-Pacific regional blind massage is the urgent issue we need to solve. In the process of globalization, the world’s development is inseparable from the exchanges and cooperation. So is the development of blind massage. Only by strengthening inter-regional exchanges and cooperation, with mutual exchange of needed products and resources sharing, the Asia-Pacific regional blind massage can get better and faster development. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Korea for hosting the next Regional Massage Seminar and help us realize this goal. In my opinion, we can proceed our way forward with the following aspects:
    2.1 To strengthen our ties and cooperation among national blind massage organizations
    The vigorous development in the cause of Asia-Pacific regional blind massage is inseparable from the tireless efforts of various national organizations of blind massage. The national blind massage organizations are most familiar with their countries’ blind massage situation. Hence they are our most ideal collaborating partners to help promote blind massage as a profession for the blind. By so doing, we can learn from each others’ advanced massage experience and can help us to wholly push forward the development of Asia-Pacific regional blind massage enterprises.
    2.2 To promote exchanges and learning of blind massage and technology
    Due to historical and geographical differences, the blind massage techniques through a long period of development formed their own traditional massage techniques. Previously, different massage techniques only spread within their respective areas, but with the continuous progress of globalization, now we can enjoy the Japanese Shiatsu, Thailand’s massage therapy and other traditional special massage techniques in China. Also the Chinese massage therapy can be found in other countries. “By other’s faults, wise men correct their own”. Traditional massage techniques with great cultural heritage, even in different countries are also subject to consumer’s favor, with a broad market place. Therefore, as an important part of massage, the blind massage should advance with the times, strengthen technological exchanges, learning and innovation.

    2.3 To establish a public platform for the information exchange
    At present, whether the cooperation of the blind massage organizations or the exchanges of blind massage and techniques, are generally taken in the way of assembly or visits, in which the geographical barriers are inevitable, making exchanges and cooperation into the activities that belongs to a small number of people, and also cannot be very frequent. As the main body of the blind massage industry, the blind masseurs because of their physical conditions, economic conditions and other factors, are in lack of opportunities for the mutual exchanges and cooperation. Information technology highly developed, the Internet, as the most efficient and convenient information exchange channels, can also be one of the best choices to promote the information exchange of blind massage within different regions. In particular with the gradual popularity of the blind’s computer software, it is possible for the blind to use computer to share Internet resources. We can try to establish an exchange platform being similar to “Blind Massage Website”, realizing the blind massage’s exchanges and cooperation in the maximum extent.
    2.4 To play the role of bridge and link of members in the region through the Commission
    In order to further strengthen inter-regional exchanges and cooperation and promote the continued development of blind massage enterprise, the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific Regional Massage Commission can play a role of bridge and link of member countries in the region through organization of Regional Massage Seminars, publishing Newsletters and organization of regional massage training courses. You are most welcome to work together with us by contributing articles to the newsletters, participating in the regional massage training courses organized by the Commission and attending the regular regional massage seminars.
    Let us carry forward the noble spirit of mutual assistance and solidarity, and further strengthen our collaboration to create a united harmonious society, to encourage our blind friends to do their best and elevate their own quality, to give full play to their enthusiasm and creativity, with able-bodied people, to create a happy life and bright future which belongs to all of us jointly!
    Finally, I wish you good health and happiness, great achievements in your career, all the best!

    Clinical Experience in Treating Functional Constipation with Lumbar-abdominal Tuina
    Zhu Gang1 Peng Na1 Xiao Dan1 Hou Yi2 (China)
    (1.Hunan Yeahcome Health Care Research Institute, Changsha, China 410001)
    (2.Changsha Yeahcome Massage Hospital, Changsha, China 410011)
    Abstract Purpose: Discussing the clinical efficacy of Lumbar-abdominal Tuina to Functional Constipation. Method: Treating 42 cases of Functional Constipation patients by self-created Lumbar-abdominal Tuina. Once a day, ten days for one course of treatment and all the cases go through 3 courses. Result: Of 34 patients recovered and 5 improved, 3 were not cured and the effective percentage is 92.8%. Conclusion: Lumbar-abdominal Tuina has a reliable curative effect to Functional Constipation. It is convenient, practical and easy to operate, and is worth promoting in clinic.
    Key words: functional constipation, Lumbar-abdominal Tuina, manipulation, clinical experience

    Constipation mainly refers to dry and hard stool, difficult bowel movements or unfinished feeling, as well as reduction in the times of bowel movement symptoms as a chief complaint. It can be divided into organic constipation and functional constipation from the etiology. Organic constipation is the symptom of variety of diseases, such as pathological changes of the colon, rectum and anus, metabolic disease of endocrine, or central nervous system disease. While functional constipation is the one with no organic pathological change in the intestines or any other systemic organs after comprehensive inspections and examinations. Functional constipation can cause toxic substances to stay too long in the intestines and be absorbed into the body, leading to a series of symptoms manifestated as dizziness, palpitations, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, decreased memory, loss of appetite, etc. Long-term constipation can even induce hemorrhoids, anal fissure, colon or rectal cancer, etc. In recent years, I have used Lumbar-abdominal Tuina to treat functional constipation for 42 cases, which has a curative effect, as shown below.

    1. Clinical Data
    1.1 Diagnostic Criteria [1]
    According to the Rome Ⅲ diagnostic criteria for functional constipation﹡:
    © Patients must meet the following two or more:
    A. difficult defecation (at least once in every four times);
    B. massive stool or hard stool (at least once in every four times);
    C. unfinished feeling after defecation (at least once in every four times);
    D. anal or rectal obstruction and (or) obstructive feeling (at least once in every four times);
    E. need to dispose it with hand (such as finger-assisted defecation, pelvic bottom supporting defecation) to promote defecation (at least once in every four times);
    F. defecation less than three times a week.
    © almost no soft stool without bitter aloes.
    © inadequate conditions to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome(IBS).
    * Symptoms last for at least six months before diagnosis, which meet the above criteria for the past three months.
    1.2 General Information
    42 cases are all from Changsha Yeahcom Massage Hospital, male 19 cases, female 23 cases, and their age is between 18 to 46 years old. The shortest duration is three months, while the longest six years. All cases meet the diagnostic criteria for functional constipation.
    2. Treatment
    The practitioners’ both hands are in cotton gloves.
    2.1 Abdominal massage: The patient is in supine position, with double knees in flexion to relax the abdominal wall. The practitioner is at the left side of the patient.
    © Apply rou-kneading with palm to accupoint shenque : The practitioner slightly overlaps the hands (right hand’s thenar overlapping in the left dorsal side of left hand’s thumb) and bend to be an arc, with accupoint laogong on right hand just facing to the right hand’s accupoint shenque (navel). Touching the abdomen with the ulnar side of the right palm, and then moving the right little finger to the left index finger in turn, followed by the left index finger moving to the left little finger, and finally two heels of hand palms on the abdomen. This is the integrity of rou-kneading action which kneading in cycles to a total of 120 cycles, about 4 minutes. This is the main manipulation of Lumbar-abdominal Tuina massage.
    © Apply ya-pressing with palm to accupoint tianshu: The practitioner presses accupoints tianshu(paraumbilical 2 inches)with palms on both sides at the same time. Along with patient’s respiration, pressing and releasing twice (pressing when exhaling; releasing when inhaling) for about 1 minute. It is the standard of needling sensation to have the cool, numbness, heat, and distension feelings in waist, abdomen and lower extremities. This is the auxiliary Lumbar-abdominal Tuina massage manipulation.
    © Apply ca-rubbing to accupoint shenque: The practitioner uses the right entire palm to rub the accupoint shenque back and forth vertically for about 10 minutes, with 100 times / min, until the patient feels heated. This is the main manipulation in Lumbar-abdominal Tuina massage.
    2.2 Lumbar massage: The practitioner stands at the right side of the patient in prone position.
    © Rou-kneading with palms overlapped: The practitioner applies rou-kneading along both of the two bladder meridians (1.5 inches adjacent to both sides of spine) from top to bottom for 3 to 4 times about 4 minutes. This is the main manipulation of Lumbar-abdominal Tuina massage.
    © An-pressing accupoint dachangshu: The practitioner applies an-pressing manipulation on accupoint dachangshu with thumb or olecranon. This is the auxiliary Lumbar-abdominal Tuina massage practices.
    © Ca-rubbing accupoints baliao: With open, flat palm, the practitioner uses the hypothenar of the hand palm to apply rubbing baliao back and forth vertically for about 10 minutes at a frequency of 100 times / min to the patient until heat is felt at the lumbosacral part extending to the lower extremities. This is the main Lumbar-abdominal Tuina manipulation.
    A complete set of manipulation lasts for 30 minutes, once a day, 20 days for a course of treatment. It is not appropriate to have the treatment half an hour before or after the meal, and during menstrual period. After 3 courses, observing the result, with telephone follow-up for 3 months.

    3. Treatment Results
    3.1 Therapeutic Evaluation[2]
    According to Diagnosis Standards for TCM Syndrome, diagnosis and therapeutic evaluation criteria of constipation are determined. Cured: soft and smooth defecation once within two days, without recurrence in a short term. Improved: soft and less smooth defecation once within three days. Not cured: no symptoms improved.
    3.2 Results
    34 cases cured, 5 cases improved, 3 cases not cured, and the total efficacy is 92.8%.
    4. Experiences
    There is a long history of abdominal tuina massage in China. As early as in the Northern and Southern Dynasties period, Yi Jin Jing, translated by Damo, mentioned the abdominal massage for health preserving and contained “Three Methods of Abdominal Massage”. In Sui Dynasty, The General Treatise on the Causes and Symptoms of Diseases recorded: “warm two hands by rubbing, then chafe the belly, so let the qi descend” “rub the belly up and down as well as qi hai, the more the better, times unlimited”, etc., which is used in treatment for “abdominal pain and constipation” etc.
    4.1Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the navel(accupoint shenque)communicates with five-zang viseral and six-fu viseral, connects with all meridians from head to foot, is the pivot of body regulation, as well as the most direct and closest point on the surface to the gastrointestinal tract, as it is in the center of the abdomen. Gently and effectively rou-kneading and ca-rubbing accupoint shenque with palm are the two main methods used in this treatment. By stimulating shenque and its surrounding area, it has the effects of harmonizing the stomach and dredging intestines to promote defecation. Accupoint tianshu is located paraumbilical and belongs to stomach meridian of yangming, indicated for abdominal distension, borborygmus, constipation etc. So palm-pressing and stimulating this accupoint helps to promote the defecation. Pressing daily also preserves health.
    4.2 Modern research has shown that the impact of abdominal massage on gastrointestinal function (dynamical) is direct, special and irreplaceable[3]. Rou-kneading accupoint shenque with palm coordinates gastrointestinal function. By regulating the reflex, it inhibits the central nervous system, then excites the para-sympathetic in the descending colon and rectum, and inhibits the sympathetic, and finally increases the peristalsis of the descending colon and rectum, while relaxing the internal anal sphincter, creating favorable conditions for defecation.
    4.3 Waist massage therapy is another feature of this treatment. Modern medical research considers that the large intestine movements relying on the colon wall’s muscles, controlled by autonomic nerve. Parasympathetic distributed at the large intestine, starting from the parasympathetic nucleus of lateral angles of S2-S4, form the pelvic nerve, located in the large intestine. Massage on the accupoints at lumbosacral part (mostly the bladder and Du meridian’s accupoints) stimulates and strengthens the large intestine’s peristalsis, leading to inner high pressure of rectum, normalized the lowered defecating reflection gradually, and thus restoring the feeling of bowel movement, as well as causing defecation[4].
    The complete set of the manipulation is mainly composed by extrusion and rubbing manipulation, such as an-pressing, rou-kneading, ca-rubbing etc., aiming at enhancing gastric peristalsis by giving a strong mechanical stimulation to the gastrointestinal track. The key of applying Lumbar-abdominal Tuina to relieve constipation is to select the accupoints accurately, with slow, soft, deep penetration force.
    Lumbar-abdominal Tuina is easy to learn. With reliable efficacy and without adverse reactions, it is worthy of promotion in clinical practice.


    [1] Rome Committee. Rome Ⅲ Diagnostic Criteria of Functional Gastrointestinal Disease. Modern Digestion and Intervention Diagnosis and Treatment, 2007,12 (2):137-140

    [2] State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Diagnosis of Standards for TCM Syndromes. Nanjing: Nanjing University Press, 1994

    [3] Yu shiwan, Yu Fengming. Mechanism and Time Choosing for Treating Functional Constipation by Abdominal-Massage. Sichuan medicine, 2006,27(2):211-2

    [4] Huangying. Massage Treatment of Intractable Constipation for 49 Cases. Zhejiang TCM magazines, 2006,41 (11): 644

    Guidelines of the Traditional
    Japanese Physical Therapy
    Keishi Yoshikawa (Japan)
    • Acupuncture and Physical Therapy Teacher
    Training School, University of Tsukuba
    • Vice Chairperson of WBUAP Regional Massage Commission
    In recent years, integrated medicine comprised of two kinds; western and traditional. The latter positions the patient at the center of the therapy. This idea has spread worldwide.
    Anma massage, Shiatsu and Judo are examples of these traditional Japanese manual therapies.
    There was a cooperation request to the effect of defining the guidelines of the traditional manual therapy treatment of Japan in 2007 because it comprised the “Education in the manual therapy and guideline for safety” from the WHO traditional medicine section. I understand that the guideline of Chinese Suina and Thai old-fashioned massage had already been made. This was received by the specific education person and related to the manual therapy training in the country we met. It was concluded that there was an importance to bring the manual therapy guideline to a global standard including the section of Japanese manual therapy. We started creating the guidelines.
    In our working group entrusted by four committee members and organized by groups of teacher associations and the Japanese Blind Union, a Japanese guideline of the first stage was completed in March 2009. Its final aim is to achieve a global standard of completion of the manual therapy guideline.
    An educational target and level for the preliminary stage in Japan are as follows:
    After gaining general knowledge concerning the rudimentary medicine it is necessary to possess expertise concerning the Anma Massage, Shiatsu and putting it into practice in clinical tooling. That is, demonstrating knowledge of the medical skills required. Therefore, after the above-mentioned educational content is finished, it is necessary to pass the qualifying national examination. This is a matter based on the law, and one that guarantees an appropriate clinical ability to practice Anma Massage, Shiatsu. Moreover, the qualifying examination should receive a practical evaluation at a constant level before taking a written examination in an educational institution. As for each institution, the formative evaluation at each stage concerning the acquisition of the knowledge technology is executed, and on completion, it is preferable to execute an evaluation of the objective, clinical ability.
    It is assumed that the target is to acquire the ability to support the maintenance and improvement of the patient’s health. Therefore, within the safety of Anma Massage, Shiatsu and knowledge concerning the prevention of accidents, it is necessary to evaluate the level of patient’s health. It is necessary to execute a technical evaluation with the safety of Shiatsu and the knowledge concerning any legal limitations. It is especially important to have the knowledge to judge the suitability of maintenance and evaluation concerning the manual techniques. This ensures competence for health maintenance and ongoing service improvement.

    Massage Education in Japan
    Shigenobu Maeda (Japan)
    • A teacher of acupuncture and massage atFukui Prefectural School for the Blind
    • Japanese delegate of WBUAP Regional Massage Commission

    Today a large number of visually impaired people are living independently and working as massage therapists and acupuncturists in Japan. There are about 100,000 licensed massage therapists in our country, 25% of which are blind or visually impaired.
    After graduating from high school, a three-year course of study is commonly followed to prepare for the national license examination. The license permits them to do the Anma, Massage and Shiatsu.
    Currently there are 56 schools for the blind and visually impaired, 5 national rehabilitation centers and a few private schools offering three-year courses of massage and acupuncture.
    Although the majority of these courses follow high school graduation, there are exceptional cases of blind schools providing massage courses for graduates of junior high school. The course for acupuncture and massage has been made available for four years by the Tsukuba University of Technology.
    In 1947 a law was established which standardized the curriculum for the blind and visually impaired massage course. However, education of acupuncture and massage for the blind and visually impaired has continued for more than three hundred years in Japan. The many challenges and hardships of our predecessors have allowed today’s blind and visually impaired to keep acupuncture and massage as a vocation even in difficult situations.
    In the 14th century, playing the Biwa, a Japanese lute, was a common profession among blind people, and the players established an association called Todoza. The association increased its membership into the 16th century, and began teaching massage and acupuncture with the shogunate’s support. Shogunate refers to the feudal governments before Japan was unified as a nation.
    Late in the 17th century, Mr. Waichi Sugiyama who was blind, established a school of massage and acupuncture for the blind and visually impaired called Shinji Koshusho, which was approved by the Tokugawa government. Shinji Koshusho’s course is recognized as the first official vocational training course for the blind and visually impaired in the world, coming 100 years before European countries established any such programs.
    By the time Mr. Sugiyama died, 50 branches of his school opened all over Japan. The schools gained social recognition and the profession of acupuncture and massage among the visually impaired was set.
    In late 1947, a new law specifying business conduct of massage, acupuncture, moxibustion and Judo-Orthopedics, etc. was established, giving massage therapists and acupuncturists renewed social status. Under the influence of that law, in April of 1948, 70 blind schools started two courses, the first a massage course for students who graduated from junior high school, and the second, an acupuncture course for students who finished senior high school. Students who took the massage course just out of junior high school could get a senior high school degree at the same time, so that they could proceed to a two-year acupuncture course.
    Until 1988, only minor changes had been made to the law regarding acupuncture and massage however it was then changed radically to improve the quality of acupuncture and massage. Both courses of acupuncture and massage became equivalent to three years of a college level education. There are only a few special cases of blind schools that still have a massage course at a senior high level for people who graduated from junior high school.
    The following examples are popular jobs for the blind and visually impaired who hold licenses:
    Operating a clinic. Being employed as a Clinician Acupuncturist and massage therapist means they can operate their own clinic, the same as any doctor who practices western medicine. People visit clinics to preserve and promote their health and/or treat an ailment.
    Physical therapists in Japan carry out most rehabilitation work at hospitals, but massage needs from patients are still numerous, thus a large number of blind and visually impaired people work at hospitals as massage therapists.
    A Health Keeper is an acupuncturist or a massage therapist who works to keep and promote employee’s health and wellness.
    Many blind and visually impaired massage therapists work at nursing home for the elderly as rehabilitation trainers. A nursing home for the elderly is a facility for aged people who need nursing care. They contribute to the nursing home patients in many ways, such as giving massage treatments to keep and promote the patients’ mobility. In addition, they teach them how to exercise and play physical games with people who come to the home for just day care.
    Hired by the government, about 700 teachers of acupuncture and massage work at schools for the blind and visually impaired or rehabilitation centers in Japan. 95% of them are blind or visually impaired, and half of them are Braille users. A special feature of Japanese education for the blind and visually impaired is that teachers demonstrate acupuncture and massage skills through hand-to-hand instruction to students who have the same disability.
    Massage Development of Vietnam Blind Association
    Cao Van Thanh (Vietnam)
    Vietnam Blind Association

    After attending the 9th Regional Seminar on Massage of WBUAP in Beijing in May, 2008, Vietnam Blind Association (VBA) popularized results of that seminar about experience to develop massage service and techniques from many countries in the region. It is our glad that massage service in Vietnam is increasingly developing, becomes the main job of the blind in Vietnam.
    About our quantity, I our presentation at the Seminar, VBA had nearly 100 massage service units under the management of VBA, attracting about 1000 masseurs, and around 70 teams and groups under management of the blind members themselves, attracting about 300 masseurs. At present time, VBA has 187 massage units with 1016 masseurs and 123 massage groups with 898 masseurs.
    About management activity, when VBA at central level issued requirements on massage service, this service develops faster and equally nationwide, in newly founded associations. The management is also better, avoiding unhealthy competition situation between centers.
    About massage techniques, VBA pays more attention to this, often speed up and encourage training centers and massage service units to enhance skills for masseurs, meeting the increasing requirement of their guests. Besides body massage as traditional method, at the beginning of 2008, AMIN network (Japan) helped VBA to train Anma techniques. In October 2008, with the support of NPO Minzoku Forum – Japan, VBA opened foot massage training course as traditional method for 20 participants from 10 provincial associations.

    Once again, we would like to affirm that massage is a suitable job for the blind in general and those in Vietnam in particular. We would like to have more chances to exchange and learn experience from other associations, then enhancing this job in the region.

    Preparation for National Medical License Examination of Visually Impaired Masseurs and Masseuses in Thailand
    Pecharat Techavachara (Thailand)
    President FEPB and TBU

    Massage is so far the major occupation of the blind in Thailand. The teaching of Thai Massage was first included in the curriculum of the Skills Development Center, Foundation for the Blind in Thailand about thirty years ago. At that time, Mr. Pecharat Techavachara was one of the board members of the Center. Mr. Pisit Benjamongkulwaree was invited to be the first teacher of Traditional Thai Massage and he is still teaching till now!
    There are only four major organizations giving Thai massage training to the blind in Thailand: Foundation for the Blind in Thailand which runs the Skills Development Center for the Blind and Sampran Training Center for Blind Women, Caulfield Foundation for the Blind, Foundation for the Employment Promotion of the Blind, and Thailand Association of the Blind.
    At present, there are about 1,500 blind men and women engaged in the massage profession.There are hundreds of other institutions teaching Thai massage to sighted people. Masseurs and masseuses are undoubtedly different in skills and experiences. Some give proper and effective treatments which can eliminate bad symptoms in the ailment but some unintentionally give wrong treatment which is harmful to the clients!
    Our Ministry of Public Health is very much aware of the situation and wishes to regulate the practice and set a uniform standard of Thai Massage.
    Since Thai Massage is a major occupation of blind people in Thailand, it is utmost important that we must conform to the national standard.
    Thai Massage is divided in two categories: Health Massage and Medical (therapeutic) Massage. Although blind people in Thailand have been engaged in the massage profession for over thirty years, Up till now, no single blind person in Thailand has received medical license!! The blind are engaged only in Health Massage. Only last year, the Ministry of Public Health permitted blind people to take examination for medical license!
    Before receiving this opportunity, organizations of and for the Blind combined efforts and resources in persuading and convincing high responsible officials of Public Health Ministry to realize the needs of blind masseurs and masseuses in obtaining medical license in Thai Massage. Finally a legislation has been passed allowing blind masseurs and masseuses to take medical license examinations.
    We, however, must make good preparation for our people for such examination. Foundation for the Employment Promotion of the Blind (FEPB), with financial support from Thai Health Foundation, took the initiative of launching a pilot project: Preparation for National Medical License Examination for blind masseurs and masseuses. We set up a two-year training course involving 326 hours of theories and 728 hours of practices. This course is especially designed for professional masseurs and masseuses who wish to upgrade themselves (moving from health up to therapeutic massage)We have fifty people from various parts of Thailand enrolled in this training course. The training starts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday. The first lesson already started Tuesday, January 6, 2009 and will end Tuesday, December 2010. We have six licensed teachers and four advisers teaching the following subjects: Health Science (59 hours of theory and 25 hours of practice), Traditional Thai Medicine (60 hours of theory and 18 hours of practice) Traditional Thai Massage (87 hours of theory and 308 hours of practice) Law and Morals (60 hours of theory and 6 hours of practice) Basic Japanese Massage (6 hours of theory and 12 hours of practice) and Reading and Writing Braille of 95 hours.
    Since this type of training program has never been set up before in Thailand, and the Medical Registration Division, Department of Health Support Services, Public Health Ministry has never given medical exams to the blind before, it is utmost important that we gather all the possible information, knowledge and experiences from specialists in the field.
    Through Nippon Foundation, we invited professors from Tsukuba University to give us advices. On Tuesday, March 17, Professor OOgata, Mr. Hisao Chiba, and Ms Hiroko Kusuyama spent four hours at FEPB observing our training course. We agreed that a three-day seminar, involving responsible officials of Public Health Ministry, experts from Tsukuba University and Thai massage teachers, is to be held at the end of May.
    At the end of 2010, these fifty blind masseurs and masseuses will be ready for medical license examination. We cannot guarantee how many of them will pass the exam but they should be proud and privileged to be involved in this historic project which can be considered to be a milestone in the field of massage for the blind in Thailand.

    What’s New
    1. Regulations on Blind Medical Massage has been promulgated in The People’s Republic of China
    On the basis of Law of the People’s Republic of China on Medical Practitioners and Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Persons etc., Ministry of Health, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of the People’s Republic of China as well as China Disabled Persons’ Federation, have recently jointly set up regulations on Blind Medical Massage, which was issued on 24th April, 2009 (No.[2009] 37, Bureau of Medical Affairs, Ministry of Health), with the purpose of reinforcing and normalizing the activities of blind medical massage, improving the quality of blind masseurs, and ensuring the equity of both blind masseurs and their patients. The regulation stipulates blind massage as a medical treatment and should be developed in the medical institutions, and that blind medical masseurs should be identified as common medical technicians. The regulations on Blind Medical Massage is going to bring into force on September 1st, 2009 and that will legalize the practice qualification and professional title assessment of blind masseurs, and as well, it has a profound significance in promoting the stable employment of blind masseurs, enhancing their employment level and promoting comprehensive development of blind medical massage industry.

    2. The website Blind Massage International is going to launch soon
    In order to promote the information exchanging for the participants and enthusiasts in the blind massage industry throughout the world, as well as to demonstrate and extend blind massage to the world, China Blind Massage Administration Center together with the Hunan Yeahcome Health Care Co., Ltd., whose board chairman Mr. Zhu Gang, who is also the chairman of WBUAP Regional Massage Commission, have jointly initiated a large-scale website portal of blind massage industry named Blind Massage International which is currently made into the website development stage.
    The website Blind Massage International currently has two language versions, in English and Chinese (more language versions respectively are to be added in the near future), and each version has another 3 sub-versions, i.e. Web Accessible for the Common, Web Accessible for the Blind and Web Accessible for the Amblyopia. The Web Accessible for the Common is accessible for everyone while the Web Accessible for the Blind provides blind persons with more convenience and faster navigation, while the Web Accessible for the Amblyopia gives several choices on font-size and color schemes to the Amblyopia. The website is under development at present and is expected to launch in this second half of this year. As soon as it starts, all the participants and enthusiasts in the blind massage industry throughout the world will be able to get access to this website to exchange and search the information needed.

    3. The Acupressure and Massage Training Course for the Visually Impaired in Hong Kong has been upgraded from Certificate Level to Diploma Level
    The Hong Kong Society for the Blind is pleased to report that the Employees Retraining Board has just confirmed with the Qualification Framework of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government to upgrade the 1-year 12th Acupressure and Massage Training Course for the Visually Impaired conducted in 2008 from Certificate Level to Diploma Level. All the eight trainees who have completed the 12th Acupressure and Massage Training Course in December 2008 were awarded the Diploma Certificate jointly issued by the Employees Retraining Board of the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Hong Kong Society for the Blind. The Hong Kong Society for the Blind (HKSB) shall continue to work hard for getting formal recognition from the Hong Kong Government on all the massage training courses organized by HKSB, apart from getting Occupational Qualification Certificate from The Ministry of Labour and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China for the blind masseurs trained in Hong Kong.
    News of 10th WBU Asia Pacific Regional Massage Seminar
    3 to 5 May 2010 • Seoul, Korea

    The 10th World Blind Union Asia Pacific Regional Massage Seminar will be held in Seoul, Korea from 3 to 5 May, 2010 and there will be a tour on 6 May before the delegates leave Seoul. Details for the main theme and sub-themes of the 10th World Blind Union Asia Pacific Regional Massage Seminar will be worked out during the coming Board Meeting of the Regional Massage Commission to be held in July this year in Seoul.
    All member countries are cordially invited to send delegates to the next Regional Massage Seminar for a fruitful exchange, in particular, a better understanding of Korea massage when the Seminar is held in Seoul, Korea.

    Newsletter Editorial Committee:
    Chairman: Mr Zhu Gang (China)
    Members: Mr Pecharat Techavachara (Thailand)
    Prof. Dr Keishi Yoshikawa (Japan)
    Mr Kwon In Hee (Korea)
    Ms Maureen Tam (Hong Kong)