History of massage

Archaeological indication of massage has been established in several civilizations. Ancient cultures all over the world discovered that massage for muscles could heal injuries, relieve pain, and cure disease. A relaxing massage was found to reduce stress relax muscles. The earliest indications of massage can be derived from the paintings and drawings of cave inhabitants. Numerous objects have hints of fats and oils mixed with herbs which show that lubricants may have been used, perhaps for healing, calming, or beautification. However, documentary evidence found in various countries and regions relating to massage dates back its history to 2700 BC or earlier.

History of massage


In 3500 Aromatherapy also came into existence, which used essential oils for relaxing, mystical, hygienic, and sacred purposes, Jean Valnet was a French surgeon who found the uses of essential oils and used them for the treatment of wounded soldiers. Aromatherapy is a complete treatment, which uses different massage oils to stimulate health and boost energy. Not only in terms of mental and physical health, but a sensual massage with aromatherapy oils can also be great when it comes to achieving the most sexual pleasure. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils, which improve both physical and emotional health.


Chinese method of massage originated from the belief that disease and illness arise due to lack or unevenness of energy in explicit pathways or highpoints that represent the physiological system and massage allows the body to heal itself naturally. The first evidence of massage treatment was discovered in China from Cong-Fu of the Tao-Tse, the oldest book written about massage. In 2760BC Nei Ching mysteriously and typically discussed therapeutic touch. The Chines traditional massage therapy was developed with the combined expertise of martial arts practitioners, the doctors in Chines traditional medicines, Buddhists and Taoists who practised touch as an important tool to their spiritual yoga training, and laymen who offered relaxing massage for relaxation. The Chines also found that pressure procedures were very effective on explicit points and they developed special procedures called amma, which was the beginning of the development of acupressure and acupuncture. Massage as part of Chines medical treatment goes back to about 4000 years. The massage books started to appear as early as the fourth century BC along with the earliest Chines medical texts.


Egyptians are said to have developed massage in approximately 2500 BCE, and its evidence is found in Tomb paintings depict people massaging each other. In this system, the practitioners apply pressure to precise points or response zones on the feet and hands. In turn, the receiver gets useful effects on the body parts that connect these zones. The Egyptians used to massage for cosmetic and therapeutic effects. The pots and jars found in Egyptian Tombs contain these creams. Egyptians developed a massage technique around 2500 BCE which has shaped today’s massage therapy. In this technique, the therapist applies pressure to relax zones of feet and hands with the overall aim of stimulating nerve function, increase energy, boost circulation, eliminate toxins in the body and achieve a relaxed body and mind.


The practice of massage for muscles in India dates back to 3000 BCE even earlier; it is believed to be heavenly and passed down orally through generations in the form of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a comprehensive traditional medical system in India, which was established by natural scientists based on centuries of studies. Ayurvedic, massage involves massaging massage oils over the entire body to loosen toxins and relax the nervous system. The massage oils slowly get absorbed in the skin giving deep rest, nourishment, and rejuvenation. Texts specifying Ayurvedic principles were written sometime between 1500 and 500 BCE.


The Japanese monks who were studying Buddhism in China used traditional Chinese medicine and relaxing massage therapy for healing in early 1000 BCE. They started to use and amend Chinese massage practices giving rise to traditional Japanese massage known as Shiatsu. The main aim of Shiatsu is to raise the energy level in a patient, which in turn regulates and reinforces the functioning of the organs and enhances natural resistance to illness. Massage practitioners use their thumbs, fingers, and palms to achieve both physical and emotional balance in their patients’ bodies.


Eastern philosophies and practices resulted in the development of massage in Western civilization in the eighth century BCE. The athletes in ancient Greece used to massage for muscles to keep them in top condition before competitions. The Physicians at that time used a combination of different herbs and massage along with massage techniques to treat many medical conditions. Greek women realised the benefits of these aromatic oils and used them as beauty treatment on their skin. The Greeks from earlier times believed in good health and sound mind and encouraged physical fitness by organising regular sporting, gymnastic and athletic competitions. The massage was used before the events to improve performance, relieve fatigue, and aid recovery after events.


Massage spread to Rome during the first century BCE. The Roman physician Galen began treating his emperors for injuries and disease using massage therapy of different types. While the wealthy got massage for muscles in their homes through personal physicians, and others got a massage at public baths by trainers after a bath to enhance circulation and loosen their joints. The massage included massage oil to benefit the skin. The public baths eventually earned the reputation of being the pursuit of pleasure instead of an avenue for healing.


With scientific breakthroughs in medicine and technology, massage therapy declined and eventually faded in the West in the early 17th century. Between 1600 and 1800, numerous doctors and scientists observed and documented the benefits of massage. In early 1800, the Swedish Physician Per Henrik Ling established a practice comprising rubbing, pressing, clasping, and striking to manually treat physical issues. This technique was called Swedish Gymnastic Movement System and incorporated massage with medical gymnastics and physiology. Even then, western techniques made few advances until the 19th century.

Developments in massage

In the early 1700, surgeons in America hired women as “rubbers” to treat orthopaedic problems with manual rubbing and friction. In the late 1800s, medical gymnasts used movement and manipulation to do the same. In the early 20th century new massaging techniques were discovered and documented. However, massage could not emerge as a mainstream form of treatment. In the later part of the 20th century, rising interest in natural healing has helped in the development of messages and massage therapies involving the use of various essential and carrier oils having therapeutic properties to enhance the scope of healing through relaxing massage therapy.

Thus, with times, there have been many developments when it comes to massage therapy. In the present times, many professionals provide massage therapy for various body tissues. Aromatherapy oils used for massage are natural relaxants-have calming and soothing effect on the mind, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal, therefore, are used in massages aimed at reducing blood pressure, muscle cramps, spasms and sprains, boost the immune system, fight infection. Sensual massage with massage oils helps in blood circulation, sparks sexual excitement, releases stress and muscle tension. A good Massage for muscles helps in deep relaxation, sparks sexual excitement, and provides emotional and therapeutic benefits.

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