Another Shanghai first: Man becomes licensed breast masseur
Ask people about the best thing in Shanghai, and you’ll hear a number of answers ranging from the Bund to the food. But one thing everyone can agree on is their love for the city's inexpensive (legitimate and non) massage services.
Most massage parlors offer just about any service you can imagine from oil and Chinese massage to cupping and ear “burning” (not quite what it sounds like, trust us). But rarely -- and for good reason -- is a breast massage officially offered on the menu. Until now.
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Xia Jun, CEO of a Shanghai household services company, has gotten certified and is now teaching others how to massage the breasts of nursing mothers to help them produce milk, according to Shanghaiist, and the practice is stirring debate among Shanghai residents.
Xia told state media that it took him three months to get officially qualified as a “breast massage tutor” by the China Employment Training Technical Instruction Center under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
It's unbelievable. What kind of husband would allow another man to massage his wife's breasts?— Xu Boshi, Shanghai resident
"It's more reliable compared with those private training institutes in Shanghai," he told the Global Times of the institution.
Xia studied how to help new mothers produce milk, how to care for the baby and the psychology of mothers.
The service costs expectant mothers anywhere from RMB 300 to RMB 500 an hour although Xia didn't explain the reason for the price difference or how long a typical session lasts. The training course Xia offers to his employees takes 10 to 18 days.
Xia has dubbed himself the “China's first licensed breast masseur,” making easy headlines for local media.
Xia’s services come at a time when breast-feeding in China is enjoying a resurgence as many women in the country worry about using baby formula after recent formula food scandals.
"As long as we are professional with reliable certificates, we will have the market," said Xia.
Many local residents, according to WantChinaTimes, said they don't think the market exists.
"It's unbelievable. What kind of husband would allow another man to massage his wife's breasts?" asked 24-year-old Shanghai resident Xu Boshi of reporters. "I'd rather study the skills and do it myself."
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Others expressed doubt about such whether this service is necessary, as doctors at major hospitals in the city told local reporters that the service doesn't really do anything for the mothers.
So far Xia hasn’t had any requests for his new service, but he told the Global Times that he remains confident in its utility and that he plans to train his managers next month.