Types and Benefits of Back Massage

There are many important back massage benefits that can significantly improve your quality of life if you undergo regular massages with a trained practitioner.

Back Massage Benefits

Whether you’re seeking pain relief or an escape from the stressors of modern life, a back massage may be an easy, non-invasive solution to relax your muscles and mind.  [1]

Relieving Muscle Tightness

Do you ever get the feeling of sharp needles through your back muscles or just throbbing muscle pain? Perhaps working behind a computer screen every day leaves you feeling tense, or maybe you’re an athlete and have strained a muscle from an intense workout. Whatever the cause, your back is aching and you need relief. If you’re looking for a remedy that doesn’t involve medication or surgery, you might want to consider getting a back massage, as it has been proven to loosen tight muscles, increasing blood flow and speeding up the healing process for sore or healing tissue. [2]

Benefits of back massage

A back massage relaxes muscle tissues and relieves stress. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Reducing Back Pain

A back massage involves a trained massage therapist applying pressure to the back in order to manipulate muscles and skin. The kneading movements provide pain relief to sore, tense and hurting muscles. For thousands of years, people have been practicing the art of massage therapy, believing it its holistic power to heal maladies like back pain. Back massages are gaining more and more traction as a solution to back pain in the medical world. According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, conducted by Maria Hernandez-rief et al., back massages can measurably reduce pain, anxiety, sleep issues, and stress hormones. [3]

Promoting Endorphin Release

Back massages are not only known to relieve lower back pain and release tension in the upper back, but they can also stimulate the release of endorphins or “feel good” chemicals to the body, increasing blood flow, improving sleep and helping the body’s natural healing process. [4]

Relief from Stress & Anxiety

Numerous studies have shown that getting regular back massages can improve the symptoms of mood disorders, and can reduce the level of stress hormones in the body. This can aid in the management of anxiety disorders and problems with depression. [5]

Types of Back Massage

There are several main types of back massage.

Swedish Massage

This style involves hand-strokes where the therapist’s hands flow in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Swedish massage is meant to increase blood flow and circulation, while simultaneously relaxing the client in a calming atmosphere. This type of back massage is perfect if you’re new to massage therapy or looking for a treatment to alleviate light to moderate back pain. [6]

Deep Tissue Massage

This more intense variety of back massage focuses on relieving pain in deeper levels of muscle tissue and using more intense pressure in the practitioner’s kneading hand movements. This is a great option for people who suffer from chronic back pain or tension and want a greater pressure level than Swedish massage provides. [7]

Shiatsu Massage

In the practice of shiatsu massage, therapists use different techniques to free tension from the back. The focus is rooted in Chinese medicine, where the therapist hopes to help Qi, the body’s energy, flow freely. Massage therapists apply weight to pressure points on the body in order to decrease stress. They also stretch limbs and joints to aid in pain relief and relaxation. [8]

Hot Stone Massages

When you experience a hot stone massage, you will enjoy the benefits of massage and add heated stones to focus on specific regions of the back where knots form. The heat from the stones can help improve circulation. The combination of hot stones and back massage can lead to relief from pain and a deep sense of relaxation. [9]

Cautions and Contraindications: As with any other activity, it’s best to check with your doctor first if you have back pain to see the cause. Often times, doctors will work with massage therapists in the pursuit of a more holistic care approach. If you are cleared by your doctor to get a back massage, don’t miss out on this noninvasive and affordable method of easing your bodily pain and elevating the spirit.

— Update: 08-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article 12 Benefits of an Electric Back Massager from the website homespahaven.com for the keyword benefits of back massage.

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After a long and tiring day, don’t you just want to sit on your couch and enjoy a relaxing session with your electric back massager? Not only will you get rid of the body pain, you will also reap benefits other than just relief. Constant work and physical activity can take a toll on your body making it sore and stiff. While rest is a good way for you to recuperate, nothing beats having a good back massage to end your day.

The thing about back massages is that it can be a luxury in terms of time and cost. For one, you need to book yourself an appointment with a massage therapist which may be a hassle especially when you don’t know how your schedule goes. Don’t you find it even more tiring to drive to your massage salon just to get a massage when you could just have one at the comfort of your own home?

While there are home service treatments, the next thing to consider would have to be the cost. Having a masseuse visit you might not be a practical thing to do especially when you don’t want to break your bank. If you don’t have time or money or both, don’t fret! You can still enjoy a good back massage even without spending so much.

Thanks to technology, you can relieve yourself and say goodbye to back pain with the help of an electric back massager. Electric back massagers are ultimate lifesavers. You don’t need to run to a massage salon or worry about not having extra cash. Get the relief your body needs by clicking a few buttons of your electric back massager. Continue reading to find all there is to know about electric back massagers.

What is an electric back massager?

An electric back massager is a device that copies the movements of a professional massage therapist. It relieves your back and your body from pain and soreness by using kneading and massage techniques practiced by professionals. An alternative to hands-on massage, you get the same benefits with an electric back massager. The difference is that there is no human interaction and you rely on your device to do the magic.

12 Benefits of an Electric Back Massager

You might wonder if an electric back massager or a body massager in general is a good investment. The answer is definitely yes. There are a lot of reasons as to why you should consider buying yourself one. Here are some of the health and practical benefits of having your own electric back massager.

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  1. It provides back pain relief.

This is probably the most obvious reason why people get their own electric back massager. Back pain, no matter how mild or severe, is no doubt annoying. As much as you try to ignore it, back pain can cause you so much discomfort and may even affect your daily routine. By using an electric back massager, you relieve yourself from the back pain that constantly haunts you. Through its massage techniques, it relaxes your stiff muscles and gives you the relief you need.

  1. You get joint and muscle pain therapy.

Whether you have a desk job, work at home, or do physical labor for hours, you will most likely tire your back, neck, shoulders, and limbs. Too much physical activity – or sometimes even lack thereof – can make you prone to joint and muscle pain. A good massage, such as a foot massage or back massage, serves as a simple therapy alternative. It soothes your aching joints and muscles and prevents further strain from developing. This is great especially if you have mild pain that does not require medical intervention. Your electric back massager can just do the job. Always remember, though, that if the pain persists, you should seek the advice of your doctor.

  1. It gets rid of migraines.

Stress, deadlines, and even exhaustion can give you headaches and migraines. Did you know that a good back massage can help you get rid of it? Massage therapy is a practice that makes use of massage to provide relief from aches and pains including migraines and headaches.  If you feel a headache coming, try to ease your mind by using your electric back massager. You will be amazed at how a simple back massage does wonders.

  1. It improves your body flexibility.

An electric back massager does two things: it puts pressure and aids in relaxation. It may seem ironic that a device can give you both pressure and relaxation – two seemingly opposite things. The two actually work together. The pressure exerted by your electric back massager gives you the relief and relaxation you are seeking. In the process, it makes your strained muscles less stiff and more flexible. After a massage, you will feel more free and energized to do physical activities.

Benefits of back massage

  1. It stimulates better blood flow and circulation.

Blood circulation is important for your body to function properly and efficiently. Some daily routines may hinder your blood flow from going smoothly. Your electric back massager can help you with this. A few minutes with your electric back massager is enough to wake up your muscle cells. The pressure energizes your muscles and as a result, improves your circulation. Better circulation means better oxygenation and an overall improvement in your health and wellness.

  1. You will see improvement in your skin’s elasticity.

Aside from your muscles and joints, there’s another part of your body that benefits from your regular use of your electric back massager: your skin. Have you noticed how your skin looks better after a massage trip? This is because when your masseuse rubs your muscles, your skin that serves as your body’s outer cover also receives pressure. Pressure exerted on your skin makes it firmer, smoother, and more radiant. The same goes when you use an electric back massager. Your skin will look less saggy and more toned.

  1. You will sleep better and more soundly.

Sometimes your mind does not rest even when your body is already tired. No matter how hard you try to relax, you may still have a hard time getting some shut eye. Some even consider getting luxury pillows to improve their sleep. If you have been experiencing sleepless nights, try getting a daily back massage as you cap off your day. Your electric back massager can help you get a good night’s rest. Soothing your nerves and freeing your body from the aches that bother you contribute to better sleep. Notice better sleeping patterns after your date with your electric back massager.

  1. You will have less mood swings and feel happier.

Aside from the physical results, you will also notice improvement in your overall well-being. The more you use your electric back massager, the less you will experience mood swings. To put it simply: using it will bring you happiness. You may wonder how this is possible. Science can actually explain this. Any type of massage releases endorphins in your body. If you’re not sure what endorphins are, these are chemicals in your body in-charge of relieving pain and stress. Some people call them happy hormones because they make you happy. Endorphins help your nervous system relax and in effect, calms you down. Professionals believe in the power of massage in the release of endorphins which explains why some facilities use it to ease anxiety and depression.

  1. An electric back massager serves as a quick alternative.

On top of the beneficial effects having an electric back massager brings, there are also practical benefits. When you need pain relief but don’t have the opportunity to visit a massage therapist, your electric back massager comes to the rescue. Your massager comes in handy during times when you don’t have enough time or money to spare for a visit to your massage salon. It’s a quick alternative that provides you with the relief you need. You don’t need to book an appointment. Just prepare your electric back massager, sit back, and relax.

  1. You can enjoy a back massage whenever and wherever you like.

If there’s one word to perfectly describe an electric back massager, it would be convenient. In terms of practicality, convenience is the number one benefit you get when you have your own back massager unit. Whether you are in your bedroom or even at your office, you can enjoy a relaxing massage with your electric back massager whenever and wherever you like. You don’t have to rely on the availability of the massage provider or your resources at hand. It’s an investment that you can use over and over again.

  1. You will spend less money.

When it comes to money matters, having your own electric back massager is undoubtedly more preferable than having multiple visits to your massage spa. One trip to your massage therapist alone can cost you a hefty amount.  In comparison, an electric back massager is definitely a bang for your buck. You can find a lot of options to choose from in the market. There are electric back massagers available that are easy on your wallet. If you have more extra money to spend, you can also splurge on a more expensive unit. The good thing about purchasing your own electric back massager is that it’s not for single-use only. You can use it over and over again, even daily if you want.  If well-taken care of, your device can last for years.

  1. You won’t have to schedule an appointment.

 Say goodbye to schedules and appointments when you have your own electric back massager. You won’t have to worry about the hassle of booking an appointment and if you will be able to make in on time. With your electric back massager within arm’s reach, you can enjoy a relieving back massage in your preferred space at your own time.

What type of massaging device should you use?

Benefits of back massage

Now that you have an idea of the range of benefits you will get with your own electric back massager, the next step would be deciding which one to get. With all the different types of massaging devices to choose from, picking the right one might be a difficult task. Electric back massagers differ in a number of characteristics with the form being the most distinguishable one. To choose the right one to use, you have to determine what kind of massage you need. One of the most popular types is the handheld device. Handheld electric back massagers have less coverage but they are great for hard to reach areas. Cushion back or pillow massagers function by putting them on your back. If you only want to massage one spot particularly in your neck and lower back area, this type is for you.

Do you feel discomfort in your lower back? The belt back massager is the solution to your back pain. You wrap it around the sore area to get your relief. The closest thing to a hands-on massage would have to be the chair back massager. It’s bulky and not as portable as others, but it gives you the best back massage experience compared to the other types. Before making your purchase, take into consideration your needs first.

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What is the best massager for the back?

If you ask what the best electric back massager is, you may get different answers. People have their own preferences. The best way to answer this is by taking a look at the different qualities that make a good electric back massager.


As mentioned before, massaging devices come in different shapes and forms. The form determines the comfort it offers and the areas it covers. For example, belt-shaped devices are great for certain areas. Electric back massagers shaped as chairs are the best for an overall massage. Picking the right form for your electric back massager may be the most important decision you have to make.


What are nodes? Nodes refer to the pressure elements of your electric back massager. The nodes are responsible for putting pressure on your muscles. The number of nodes is equally important as the device’s form. Ask yourself: how strong do you want your pressure to be? Because the nodes determine the intensity of the massage, you should opt for an electric back massager with more nodes if you want a more powerful massage. In contrast, if you prefer less pressure, get one with less nodes.


Aside from its nodes, some electric back massagers have a setting that lets you control the pressure’s intensity level. High intensity levels are best for terrible back pains because the pressure is strong enough to relieve the pain. In choosing the best one for you, you might want to consider one that has intensity settings so you can use the device for both severe and mild back pains.


In relation to the intensity feature, speed is also a good quality of an electric back massager. Typical massaging devices have three speed settings: low, medium, and high. The high option provides a rigorous massage that is best paired with high intensity.


Another special feature to look for is heat. Remember how you put heat packs on body parts that hurt? Heat has proven to be a pain reliever so some manufacturers add a heat feature to their electric back massagers. Massaging devices with heat features are also very useful in winter months where the weather  is colder.


One thing that people love about electric back massagers is that they are convenient to use. You can have a back massage anywhere you want. However, this mostly applies to electric back massagers that are compact and easy to carry. Portability is a factor you should bear in mind in picking your unit. Massaging devices that can be kept inside a bag or luggage is the usual choice for those who are always on the go. On the other hand, those who have a dedicated spot for their massage sessions such as their bedroom usually go for bigger ones such as massage chairs.

Recall or Memory

One big difference between massaging devices and a massage therapist is that the latter can determine which pain points to put pressure on. You can also inform your masseuse of your preferences which they can keep in mind. Because these are just devices, electric back massagers only function based on the settings you choose. Technology has found a way to work around this, though. With the recall or memory feature, some electric back massagers can keep track of the settings you like. This saves you time and the hassle of having to input your preferences again.


Timers are an add-on that you may want to invest in. This feature controls your massage time and ensures that you get the perfect duration. You can even take a nap while enjoying your back massage and not worry because the device will shut off on its own.

Rechargeable Battery

The trend in technology nowadays is rechargeable batteries. Electronic back massagers are no exception. Units with rechargeable batteries are preferred because you won’t have to rush to the grocery store to find batteries when you run out of power. Just simply plug your device and charge it.

Where can I find massage machines for home use?

Even with these factors in mind, you may still face the dilemma of choosing the best electric back massager.  After all, these different choices may be overwhelming for you. The best way to handle this is to look at the options at hand. Where can you see these options? Electric back massagers are literally everywhere! You can find a wide array of massaging devices in your electronics store, their respective websites, and even online stores like Amazon or Target. You can even check out our post on the 10 Best Electric Back Massagers to help you decide what you may like!

How effective is a massager for back pain?

Electric back massagers make you feel good, but are they effective in relieving back pain? Studies say yes! Because massagers mimic the movements of massage therapists, whatever effect a massage brings also applies to electric back massagers. Massage therapy has been proven and tested to help pain management in general. A research done by Pain Medicine recommends the use of massage therapy in handling pain. The study noted, however, that other active remedies were relatively more effective in reducing pain. This does not cancel, though, the fact that it still helps in relieving pain.

Another group of researchers found that back massage helps relieve labor pains. According to the studies on the International Journal of Current Research, giving back massages to pregnant women helped them cope with pain. A journal published in the Global Wellness Summit details the different positive effects of massage therapy. These include pain relief, less anxiety and stress, and improved overall wellness. With all this data, it’s safe to say that your electric back massager is effective in relieving back pain – and the benefits does not stop there!

Wrap up

When your resources aren’t enough for you to afford regular trips to your neighborhood massage salon, an electric back massager is your best solution. Having your own device has a lot of benefits in terms of physical well-being, emotional wellness, and practicality. In a nutshell, regular use of your electric back massager will relieve your pain, help you sleep better, improve your mood, let you save money, and eat up less of your time. You can find a lot of massaging devices in the market which makes it a challenge for you to pick the best one. To make sure that you make the right purchase, take note of the qualities and factors of different devices. This will narrow down your choices. An electric back massager is a life-changing investment. What are you waiting for? Get your hands on your own device now.

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Benefits of back massage

— Update: 09-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Back Pain from the website newyorkcityspine.com for the keyword benefits of back massage.

Are you looking for new ways to help ease your back or neck pain? The growing popularity of massage therapy has many sufferers of chronic back pain taking notice. After all, just about anyone can get a massage. And, studies show that more people than ever before are benefiting from the advantages of massage therapy.

Understanding Back and Neck Pain

Back Pain

For many, lower back pain involves soft tissue injuries. Your soft tissues include the skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue.

Typically, a strain or sprain occurs during improper lifting, falls, long periods of poor posture, or sports injuries. A strain involves damage to the muscle when it’s stretched too far and tears. Sprains, on the other hand, result when ligaments that connect bone to bone are overstretched or rip.

In many cases, strains and sprains are the cause of short-term back pain. However, people who suffer from chronic lower back pain can have more serious conditions. Some causes of chronic back pain include:

  • Herniated Disc: Between each spinal vertebrae rests a tire-like disc that helps to absorb shock and protect the spine. This thick outer layer of fibrous tissue encloses a gel-filled center. When the gel center breaks through the outer layer, the pressure can cause a pinched nerve.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: As we age, the ability for our discs to retain fluid decreases. This lack of hydration makes absorbing the shock of day-to-day movements even harder. This causes more stress on the disc’s outer layer, leading to pain and weakened muscles.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA): OA is a condition that results from the aging process. OA causes the cartilage that cushions our discs and joints to slowly deteriorate.
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SJD): SJD occurs when the joint that connects the hips to the lower spine becomes inflamed. This can occur after a fall or during an event such as pregnancy that places extra strain on the hips.
  • Neck or Back Trauma: A car accident or bad fall can cause dislocations or fractures in the spine leading to back pain.

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Benefits of back massage

Neck Pain

Like the lower back, neck pain is often caused by sprains and strains in soft tissues. Poor posture, sleeping the wrong way, injuries, and repetitive motions could all be to blame. Sometimes these symptoms last for only a few days. Other times they become nagging issues.

When intense neck pain includes numbness or tingling in the limbs, or lasts for more than three months, then the underlying cause may be more serious. Chronic neck pain could result from issues with the spine, discs, or joints. Like the lower back, the cervical (neck) area of the spine can suffer from herniated discs, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease.

Discovering the cause of your neck and back pain will help determine if massage therapy is the best treatment option for you.

What is Massage Therapy?

Chances are, you’ve received a massage before. Maybe a loved one gave you one to help you unwind after a long day.

Massage therapists take the casual massage to the next level. They manipulate your body’s soft tissues using different levels of pressure and movement with proven massage techniques. Their knowledge of human anatomy and how to treat musculoskeletal conditions makes them much more qualified to treat pain than a well-meaning loved one.

In fact, massage therapists must graduate from an accredited program. Although licensing requirements vary from state to state, generally a massage therapist needs to complete between 330 to 1,000 hours of training including practical experience. In addition, they must pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) or similar exams.

Extra training may be necessary for the massage therapist to become certified in more specialized types of massage such as shiatsu or prenatal massage.

How Does Massage Therapy Help?

Living in this modern age affects our bodies. Chronic stress and anxiety cause extra muscle tension. All the attention to screens affects our posture. In addition, many modern jobs are spent behind a desk or in other inactive occupations. It’s no wonder why more and more people are experiencing neck and back pain.

Massage offers many benefits to reduce short-term and chronic pain, especially in the back and neck. Some of these benefits include:

  • Managing Stress: Massage relieves muscle tension often caused by stress. In addition, it provides a brief “time-out” period where you enjoy a relaxing break from your daily routine.
  • Promoting Overall Health: Massage helps to promote soft tissue health. It may also make you more aware of how your lifestyle affects your body.
  • Relieving Chronic Pain: Massage targets the body’s pain by eliminating muscle tension and increasing flexibility. This can help to reduce your need for pain medications.
  • Improving Mood: The endorphins released during a massage gives your mood a quick boost. This can help with anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.
  • Faster Recovery Times: If you sustained a back or neck strain, then massage helps to speed up the recovery process.
  • Preventing Injuries: When muscles are healthy and flexible, there is less chance of injury.
  • Better Circulation: The pressure used during massage encourages blood to flow through congested or damaged areas, bringing healing factors to the site of your injury. In addition, massage aids in drawing metabolic waste away from the muscles.
  • Improved Range of Motion: You will experience better movement in your joints by decreasing muscle tension.

Benefits of back massage

When is Massage Therapy Appropriate?

As mentioned previously, muscle strains and sprains are the most common source of back pain. Massage therapy is a great treatment option for these conditions. It not only eases muscle tension, but it also helps to reduce spasms and inflammation in an affected area. A massage therapist can also determine the source of your pain and work toward eliminating it.

Those who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) of the spine may also benefit from massage therapy. Massages help to ease OA pain by reducing tension and stress while simultaneously increasing circulation.

Massage therapy is a relatively safe, non-invasive treatment. But, you should check with your doctor to decide if it is appropriate for your condition.

Popular Types of Massages

Ready for a massage yet? You can choose the best type of massage based on your pain, sensitivity to touch, and personal preferences. Below are some of the more common massage techniques. Many massage therapy sessions last for about 60 to 90 minutes.

Swedish Massage

For those who are new to massage therapy, the Swedish massage may be a great start. It helps to ease muscle tension throughout the body. This relaxing massage can also aid in managing minor back pain.

During a typical session, one could expect a full-body massage. The massage therapist uses a combination of kneading, tapping, deep circular motions, passive joint movements, and long strokes.

Deep-Tissue Massage

As the name suggests, deep tissue massage adds more pressure to the muscles when compared to a Swedish massage. This added pressure can help people who have muscle soreness, some injuries, and chronic muscle pain. In addition, those who suffer from anxiety or high levels of stress could benefit from releasing the muscle tension that is often associated with these conditions.

During deep-tissue massages, the massage therapist uses deep finger pressure and slow stroking movements. The extra pressure helpsto get to the deeper layers of muscles and soft tissues.

Although deep tissue massage shouldn’t cause any pain, those sensitive to touch may wish to seek another option.

Benefits of back massage

Trigger Point Massage

This type of massage relieves trigger points in the body. Trigger points are areas of tightness in muscles that cause pain in other parts of the body. For example, a trigger point in the back can lead to neck pain. These “trigger” areas have increased contraction and decreased circulation. The end result? Spasms, aching, and/or sharp pains. Massaging these constricted areas can assist in reducing symptoms.

During a trigger point massage, the therapist works on most of the body, paying special attention to areas that cause you discomfort. Flowing strokes and deep pressure work to release these trigger points.

You may feel significant pain relief after just one session.

Therapeutic Massage

This type of massage generally involves establishing an ongoing relationship with a massage therapist. It begins by presenting your symptoms to the therapist such as tight shoulders, neck pain, or spasms in the lower back. From there, the therapist creates a plan to address these areas instead of just giving you a full body massage.

Your massage therapist will perform proven techniques like trigger point or myofascial release. These techniques can help to ease your pain and create structural changes in your muscles and other soft tissues. Since this is an ongoing relationship, the therapist evaluates outcomes and makes changes to sessions based on your symptoms.

Shiatsu Massage

This type of Japanese massage is inspired by traditional Chinese medicine. It helps to regulate and stimulate the body’s nervous, lymphatic, circulatory, and hormonal systems. This holistic treatment has helped people who suffer from back and neck pain, arthritis, sprains, sciatica, and chronic stress.

During a Shiatsu massage, the therapist uses palms, fingers, and thumbs to apply pressure to various parts of the body. This pressure promotes energy flow and helps to correct imbalances in the body. Shiatsu encourages overall health and helps with coordination, range of motion, and pain relief.

Benefits of back massage

When Additional Care for Your Back or Neck Pain is Necessary…

When massage therapy or other non-invasive interventions aren’t providing you with relief, you may wish to consult with an orthopedic spine surgeon. Our dedicated team at New York City Spine can evaluate your symptoms and determine the most conservative course of action for your pain.

If surgery is necessary, then Dr. Daveed Frazier provides minimally invasive techniques designed to get you back to the comfortable, happy life you deserve. Schedule an appointment today so you can enjoy your life—pain-free.


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About the Author: Tung Chi