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History of Massage

The word Massage is generally believed to derive from the Arabic ' Mass or Mass h', which means to press softly. It was developed many thousands of years ago, an art that can be said to be as old as mankind Used in many cultures these including the Japanese, Chinese, Greeks, Romans and the ancient Egyptians as one of the earliest forms of healing. It can be described as a form of touch which gives comfort and promotes good health. Touch is one of the first senses to be developed and is essential to our growth as human beings. Massage was practiced by doctors and priests along time ago Going back as far as 3000 years BC, there are early writings of priests in China having said 'Early morning effleurage with the palm of the hand after a nights sleep, when blood is rested and tempers more relaxed, protects against colds, keeps the organs supple and prevents any minor ailments'. Writings have been found by Hindu priests ‘Massage reduces fat, strengthens muscles and firms the skin'. The Ancient Greeks believed that massage had potent healing properties and used it to heal injuries. It played an important part in the system of medicine. The earliest records found, from the Greek Dynasty, was from the year 380 BC by Hippocrates who was a physician who played an important part in separating superstition and philosophical speculation. He wrote, 'A physician must be experienced in many things, but also assuredly in rubbing for things that have the same names have not always had the same effect, for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too tight, can make flesh or cause parts to waste, hard rubbing binds, soft rubbing loosens, much rubbing causes part to waste, moderate rubbing makes them grow'. The use of massage used as medicine was then used by the Roman Empire. They also recognised its therapeutic properties. Galen, who was a famous physician, was an advocate of massage in the treatment of certain diseases and injuries. He wrote a series of books, detailing the benefits of touch, in which he described a variety of strokes...'I direct that the strokes and circuits of the hands should be made of many sorts, in order that as far as possible all muscle fibres should be rubbed in every directions'. Pliny a Roman naturalist was regularly rubbed to relieve his asthmatic condition, and Julia Caesar was pinched all over every day to relieve neuralgia and headaches. Later, due to the fall of the Roman Empire, massage became an art which was carried out by their slaves. It is thought it was applied as a substitute to exercise and also to try and reduce the effects of too much food and drink, therefore becoming more for pleasure and no longer associated with medicine. Avicenna an eleventh century Arab Physician, studied and developed massage. He noted the object of massage was to… ‘disperse the effete matters found in muscles and not expelled by exercise'.

Stockholm in 1813 was the first to open a college offering massage as part of the curriculum. Swedish massage can be defined as the manipulation of soft tissue for therapeutic purposes. which was due to Hennk Ling's work. Body massage is often referred to as a Holistic Treatment – ‘treating the mind as well as the body’. In 1899 Sir William Bennet opened a Massage Department in St George's Hospital London. The original movements have remained the same  Effleurage  Petri sage  Friction  Tapotement It is only the techniques which have changed. It is both physically and mentally relaxing.The body's organs and systems are encouraged to function more efficiently. It has become more and more popular within the complementary therapies. he spent a lot of time traveling around China. he developed a scientific system of massage and exercise. A Swedish institute was opened in London 1838. leaving a good feeling of well being and increased energy levels. he created the well known and internationally used Swedish massage. lymph. muscles and the nerves. Massage is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing activities one could ever experience. which was far more suited to Western needs. alleviate fatigue and instill deep relaxation . basing his system on the techniques of a Taoist priest. Egyptian and Roman techniques as well as his own. and for any tissue that is damaged. it is relaxing now for both the client and the masseur. which stimulates the blood. When he returned to Sweden. Today Swedish massage is far more refined. this then became popular in other institutes and spas all over the country. Using the knowledge he gained whilst in China and using the Greek. which was exhausting for the therapist. the scientific use of massage disappeared and little progress was made in the context of medicine.In. the healing progress is much quicker. All the massage strokes relate to the body's circulatory and lymphatic systems. The therapeutic touch makes us feel good. Massage helps to relieve tension. relieving stress and tension of every day living. Ling believed in combining massage with a lot of exercise and physical activity. as a form of treatment. when it became accepted by the medical profession. In the late 18th Century Hennk Ling a Swedish physiologist reintroduced massage to Europe. Tao of Shinsen who adapted exercises from Do . The treatment manipulates the soft tissue and muscles of the body. The massage manipulations can either have a stimulating or relaxing effect. . depending on the manipulation techniques carried out.During the middle ages there is not much reference to massage.

tend to expand their interests to other therapies such as Aromatherapy the use of massage using essential oils. . an overweight person. and so the list goes. as massage is so flexible.A massage can be tailored made to suit anyone from the stressed business person. the jaded house person whose needs may be to soothed but stimulated. the sports person with tired muscles. Many practitioners. and baby massage which is becoming more and more popular. would maybe require a deep. would perhaps require a massage that stimulates the metabolism. with all the different requests one may get. who may need relaxing. mechanical massage treatments which are much more vigorous and deeper. penetrating massage. after training and qualifying in body massage. Sports massage techniques – pre event and post event.