Massage for you

Date 05/19/19

I’ve done health fairs and company events  doing chair massaage, and in these events  I’ve heard so many laugh, joke, snicker as well as just poke fun at massage. I feel the need to put it out into the Internet, massage isn’t anything new and it’s not just for women to relax. Massage is for those who want the health benefits and a feeling they craved as an infant. It’s amazing that people think of LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) as spa thing, but in truth we are much more.

Below are some historical facts about massage and its  practitioners.

The History of Massage Therapy

1. Ancient China (2700 B.C.E.): The earliest date of origin for massage therapy was back in 2700 B.C.E, which was about 4700 years ago. At this date, there was a historical book created involving Chinese medicinal traditions and it was titled “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine.” This book was not published in English until the mid-1900s, but it is now considered one of the basic books taught in acupuncture school, detailing the practices and techniques that are used in current Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy. Among these are acupuncture and acupressure, both of which are closely related to each other.

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Acupuncture involves the use of needles placed at meridian points to promote better health and wellness. Similar to acupuncture, acupressure involves the use of hands, fingers, and sometimes massages tools on precise locations in your body to provide similar health and wellness to your body. The only difference in acupressure is that a practitioner does not use needles, but applies pressure in the same spots where needles would typically go.

The History of Massage Therapy

1. Ancient China (2700 B.C.E.): The earliest date of origin for massage therapy was back in 2700 B.C.E, which was about 4700 years ago. At this date, there was a historical book created involving Chinese medicinal traditions and it was titled “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine.” This book was not published in English until the mid-1900s, but it is now considered one of the basic books taught in acupuncture school, detailing the practices and techniques that are used in current Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy. Among these are acupuncture and acupressure, both of which are closely related to each other.
Acupuncture involves the use of needles placed at meridian points to promote better health and wellness. Similar to acupuncture, acupressure involves the use of hands, fingers, and sometimes massages tools on precise locations in your body to provide similar health and wellness to your body. The only difference in acupressure is that a practitioner does not use needles, but applies pressure in the same spots where needles would typically go.

2. Ancient Egypt (2500 B.C.E.): About 200 years later, the reflexology technique was developed by the ancient Egyptians and this was a vital part of some of the largest cultures in ancient history, including ancient Greece and Rome. Imagine a traditional massage therapy technique (which was new at the time) being used to promote the health of some of the largest empires. This underscores the effectiveness of its use back then and it is still around today performing important tasks for some of the most experienced athletes. Consider this the time from when reflexology techniques were created.

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Reflexology is based on the idea that the body has many reflexes that come from the feet (we know this because of ticklish reflexes) and these reflexes mirror every organ in the body. While the use of reflexology has ancient roots, Western medicine and current healthcare techniques have yet to fully understand everything that reflexology has to offer, which is why research continues to be vital in this area. This form of massage applies pressure to a certain part of the foot, which controls a particular organ in the body.

3. Ayurvedic Medicine (1500 B.C.E.): Fast forward about a thousand years in time and you will find that massage therapy shifts to the ancient Hindu practice of Ayurveda medicine. Ayurvedic Medicine holds that the mind, body, and spirit are all connected and when one substance is not functioning properly, it negatively affects the others. This symbiotic relationship explains how health, illness, and medicine are viewed and practiced in Ayurvedic Medicine.

Ayurvedic Massage

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4. Japanese Massage (1000 B.C.E.): Around the year 1000 B.C.E., Japanese Buddhist monks, who were training in China, were introduced to Tui Na, which is a massage modality in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Upon returning to Japan, the monks added their own modifications to Tui Na, which eventually became its own distinct massage modality, known as Anma.

shiatsu massage

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During the 1940’s, Anma, along with massage techniques from other modalities were codified by Tokujiro Namikoshi into what we now know as Shiatsu. The detailed history behind Shiatsu is very interesting and will be the topic of its own blog post.

5. Ancient Greece (800-700 B.C.E.): One of the most influential cultures in history were the ancient Greeks. Because the Greeks had a strong sense of a physical culture, it is no surprise that massage was a common practice. Specific techniques included decreasing the “knots” throughout muscle tissue in the body through therapeutic rubbing. This practice is very similar to modern-day techniques employed by Sports Massage Therapists.

Ancient Greece Massage

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6. Hippocrates (500 B.C.E.) The fifth century B.C.E. era was vital to the history of medicine, as this was the era of Hippocrates. Hippocrates is considered to be the founder of modern medicine and his legacy continues to this day; the oath that doctors take at graduation was written by him, which is why it is called the Hippocratic Oath.

As a medical pioneer, Hippocrates prescribed treatments for injuries, which included friction and rubbing as a form of healing. Within his treatments and prescriptions, Hippocrates promoted overall wellness by encouraging a good diet, exercise, ample sleep, and music. In many ways, his system of healing had more in common with holistic medicine than with conventional medicine.

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7. Modern Western Medicine (1800s-Present Day): Modern Massage Therapy was largely developed during the 19th century Per Henril Ling created what we know today as Swedish massage. The method created by Dr. Henril was refined by Johan Georg Mezger, who introduced several techniques based on Swedish gymnastics, such as the stroke movements, to the massage modality.

Per Henril LingPer Henril Ling

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While our scientific knowledge has changed over the centuries, massage as an applied healing practice has not changed dramatically. Afterall, the human body has not changed significantly since the ancient Egyptians. Because massage treats the most common kinds of pain with the most natural form of medicine (human touch), it transcends the particulars of human culture and history. So long as people are prone to discomfort and illness, massage will continue to exist as a healing practice.

History of massage and pictures taken from https://www.amcollege.edu/blog/history-of-massage-therapy-amc-miami?hs_amp=true

I hope you found this inlighing and if you have a subject you like us to answer, please email us at eynsmassage@gmail.com

 

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