Size really matters. This is as true for women as it is for men, as the busty look shows no sign of fading. But would you let a male stranger touch your breasts if he promised to make them bigger?
Sounds promising, but many women still squirm at the idea of facing a male masseur - naked - and, even worse, having her breasts kneaded by his hands.
But professional breast masseur Liu Gang promises that he does this only for his job, nothing more, and besides, he already has a girlfriend.
Liu perhaps has the most covetable job for men, but according to him, it's not as easy as it sounds and it took years to become an experienced breast masseur.
Born in Heze, Shandong Province, Liu studied at a school in his hometown in 2005 and one year later, he became a qualified masseur.
"I first worked as a masseur in 2007 to help women get back into shape," Liu said. "Women who want to get rid of the fat on their thighs or love handles can get help from me. In 2007, I began to work as a breast masseur since the demand is large. Achieving beautifully shaped breasts is also part of the bodyline-rebuilding job."
There is no standardized certification for breast masseurs. All that Liu knows comes from his teacher. "I learned how to massage breasts in the treatment rooms where I witnessed dozens of times how my teacher would push and press the breasts of female clients. Then I began my own career as a breast masseur," Liu explained.
There are female breast masseuses, too, but Liu said a man's natural ability to promote estrogen growth gives him an edge over female competitors.
Liu's clients are divided into two categories: women in their 20s coming to him for larger breasts, and women in their 30s and 40s looking for some solutions for drooping breasts or hyperplasia of the mammary glands, a condition that causes a lot of pain. Clients come from beauty salons which Liu has signed contracts with. When clients are enjoying a massage, the beautician will mention Liu to them, and if the client is interested, the beautician will call up Liu to set up an appointment.
"Most salon clients are too shy to come to me, and they'd rather turn to surgery or leave their breasts as they are than allow me to massage them. But I think massage is one of the safest methods for women to get bigger boobs," Liu said.
Usually the treatment period is 10 sessions of 60-minutes. Liu negotiates with each client about how often should they visit him based on their condition and desired result, but most come on a weekly or biweekly basis.
"For those women who have small breasts, I will get my hands on her chongmai (an important channel which has a close connection with the reproductive system in TCM theory)," Liu said. "I press and stretch the chongmai in a process called deoppilation of the channel. Once the chongmai is unblocked, the breasts can grow again. Then I will massage their breasts with essential oil."
Liu said some women have come to him with A cups and seen results after several treatments. Some clients even brought measuring tape to record their increasing chest circumference.
But some clients had unrealistic expectations, said Liu. They wanted to jump from an A cup to a C cup in just a few weeks or they wanted him to help their drooping breasts after a breast enlargement surgery. "Once there was a woman who wanted me to offer a breast push-up treatment, but the moment I touched her breasts, I knew there were two silicon implants. So I refused service because there is nothing I can do when it comes to fake breasts," Liu said.
Zhang Nan, a 40-year-old Beijinger, turned to Liu for help two years ago when she was diagnosed with hyperplasia of the mammary glands. At first, Zhang didn't believe that a masseur could relieve the pain in her breasts, but as a frequent visitor of beauty salons, she knew many clients of Liu. Curious, she asked those clients about their results. After three months of consideration, the story of Liu helping a 38-year-old woman afflicted with the same breast pain changed her mind, and Zhang decided to give him a try.
"After I finished about five treatment sessions, I felt my pain subside. When I went to the hospital for a return visit, my hyperplasia hadn't developed. I was so happy to hear that," said Zhang.
Breast massage may offer a way for women to enhance their breasts, but Liu emphasized that it takes two to work. "There is a TCM saying that treatment can only contribute 30 percent to curing the disease while 70 percent comes from attention to diet and a regular daily schedule," Liu said. "Staying up late, eating oily food and keeping an erratic schedule all contribute to human illnesses, and for women who read this story, please take care of yourself from now on so that you can have better breasts."