2nd August 2018
60-year-old massage hospital trains hundreds of blind practitioners
About 760,000 patients visit Beijing Massage Hospital every year, having sore backs soothed and stiff joints loosened by the skillful hands of 139 practitioners, 82 of whom are visually impaired.
Growing from a seven-member massage clinic founded in 1958, the hospital is a non-profitable institution supervised by the China Disabled Persons’ Federation.
Unlike most private-run massage clinics concentrating on treating patients, the hospital makes training visually-impaired massage practitioners its priority.
Over the past six decades, it has trained more than 8,700 blind practitioners through offering in-house programs and sending experts to teach short programs in other hospitals.
“Massage practitioner is one of the jobs that the visually-impaired can be good at and turn into a career,” said Lai Wei, director of the hospital. “It is our duty to provide them with high-quality professional training.”