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November 6, 2004

Massage, A Career For The Blind

In Shanghai, massage therapy is a career niche for blind people.

More than 150 massage centers opened by blind people are currently registered in Shanghai, employing around 1,000 certificated blind masseurs. "The local government also provides blind people with professional massage guidance," says Zhao Jihong, chairman of the association. "Training classes for junior blind masseurs are free. Blind masseurs also enjoy tax breaks."

"I trust the blind massagists and regularly go to their clinic," says Xu Ziyan, a 50-something retired teacher. "They're doing miraculous work. They can't see anything but can correctly feel your acupuncture points."

Doctors admit that the advantage blind masseurs have over sighted people is "concentration."

When I was in massage school, at least two of the students were blind. Their seeing-eye dogs would sit patiently outside their doorways during massage clinics.

Posted by linda at November 6, 2004 8:29 AM

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