Of all the unusual ways to get a massage, this has got to be the weirdest one. 51-year-old Li Chia rolls himself down 30 concrete steps every morning at Xi’an Changle Park. Once he gets to the bottom, he rocks himself back up to the top again without getting up, using a careful, self-taught technique. He claims that by doing this he receives a thorough massage that addresses all the pressure points in his body.
“I got the idea from rolling on pebbles at a health club, and when I couldn’t find any pebbles at my local park, I decided to try the stairs and was surprised to find it really works,” Chia explained. “I have always been a great fan of Chinese massage and the possibility that pressure points can do all sorts of things including relieving stress. After all, that’s why massage is so popular,” he said. “However, I don’t believe that any masseuse will be able to give me the sort of massage I get from the impact of the stairs. I find it’s a great way to relieve pressure and has all sorts of other health benefits as well.”
Li Chia has been practicing the odd massage technique for over three years now, and he hasn’t had a single injury, not even a bruise. But he doesn’t recommend that anyone else try it, because it does have a serious potential for injury. Li happens to be a marathon runner and amateur motorcycle rider – he has quite a strong body and he’s been practicing the massage for a very long time.
Apparently, the secret to his unusual morning massage is rolling down the concrete stairs very slowly so that every pressure point comes into contact with the hard concrete and also minimizing the risk of injury. Most impressive however is his ability to roll back up the stairs when he reaches the bottom.