From The Ancient Days To Today: The Evolution of Massage
The practice of using touch as a healing method derives from customs and techniques rooted in ancient history. Civilizations in the East and West found that natural healing and massage could heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses.
Based on hieroglyphics, it was in 2300 B.C. that we estimate ancient Egyptians performed massage-like therapies on only hands and feet. In 400 B.C., it was Hippocrates who recommended relaxing body rubs for medicinal purposes, and it was he who set the gold standard for massage for hundreds of years.
Fast-forward then to 10th Street in Washington, D.C., where former gymnast Hartvig Nissen (who introduced Swedish massage to the United States) treated General Ulysses S. Grant for rheumatoid arthritis in 1883. And that would bring us to today.
The 20th Century and The Age of Modern Massage
Through the early part of the 20th century, an increasing number of new and rediscovered massage techniques were documented and practiced. In particular, massage was used to treat World War I patients who suffered from nerve injury or shell shock.
In an article on allAlliedHealthSchools.com entitled: “The Origins of Massage Therapy”, the author writes: “The potential for growth and research of the healing properties of therapeutic massage and body work has gained great momentum over the last fifty years, and the public demand for massage therapy is at an all-time high,” the author writes, adding, “As a preventative practice, therapeutic massage is used in spas, gyms and work places all over the country. Using massage therapy to promote balance and maintain internal and external health is something that is now a standard part of the North American lifestyle.”
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