NO.52 Issued Date 2014.Jan.20
Current lssue

City profiles: Zhao Qiusheng, blind masseur

2014-01-21 06:14:53 GMT2014-01-21 14:14:53(Beijing Time)  Time Out

Tell us about yourself

My name is Zhao Qiusheng. I am 32 years old and I have been working in the massage industry since 2004. At first I worked in my hometown of Qinhuangdao and then I came to work in Beijing in 2006.

How did you lose your sight?
I was born with weak sight but it was okay until I was 15 years old. I could read, ride a bike, drive and do farm work. I could do almost anything. But when I was 15, I accidentally ran into a peach tree and the branch damaged my eyes. This accident left my right eye totally blind and my left eye quite weak. After that accident, I couldn’t drive anymore and it was difficult to do farm work.

How did you get into the blind massage parlour business?
One day I was listening to the radio and I heard about a group in my town for blind people. I got in touch and they told me about the Disabled Persons’ Federation, which has a program to help train blind people to be licensed masseurs. Usually it takes six months of training in classes and six months in an internship to get the masseur license.

What are other common job options for blind people in China?
Many blind people become telephone operators or computer operators with the help of special voice software.

You run a massage parlour. What additional challenges are there to running a business as a blind person?
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to deal with the authorities or go out to pay for electricity and water. I ask friends for help when I need it. I prefer to employ people that can see. Since I have weak eyesight myself, and sometimes need people to help me, it can be quite difficult for me to employ blind people and to help take care of them.

How strong are your hands? Do people always ask you to open jars?
It takes several months to get the required finger strength. However, it is not pure strength that is important when giving massages; it is the skills and technique.

Do you find that foreign clients prefer a gentler massage to Chinese ones?
Yes, foreigners prefer gentler massages. Since Chinese people get massages more often, they can usually bear more power. I think moderate-strength massages are best.

How did you go from being a masseuse to being a manager of a massage parlour?
When I came to Beijing in 2006, I first worked for other massage parlours. I did this for eight years until June of last year when I started my own parlour. I think it’s better to be my own boss – I can earn more money now.

Get a 30 minute back massage for 48RMB at Blind Massage Parlour.

 

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