The Benefits of Massage
The benefits of a massage are many, with unique appeal to each individual. Massages provide physical, mental and spiritual improvement.
Massage is an unrivaled portal to address:
- Relaxation – Allow all of your stress and tension to melt away from your being.
- Stiffness – Relax muscles and tendons made stiff from inactivity or over-activity.
- Aches – Remedy physical discomfort at the source.
- Headaches – Relax your muscles and simultaneously calm your mind.
- Back Pain – Extinguish pains with attention to the spine.
Let’s take a look at the history of the phenomenon of massage then delve into its many offerings.
The History of Massage
Massage is a phenomenon practiced and enjoyed all around the world – but where did it come from?
Few concepts have played their role throughout humanity more than that of massage.
Massage therapy is a concept dating back thousands of years, with a pre-recorded existence lasting much further.
Many ancient cultures believed in the medical benefits of massage therapy, with the first written records coming from China and Egypt.
The first recording of massage therapy in history is a Chinese text published in 2700BC: The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine. It was published in English in 1949 and is now used in modern massage therapy training as well as in teaching other forms of alternative medicine such as acupuncture, acupressure and herbology.
Egyptian tomb paintings dated 2500BC reveal massage therapy as a part of local medicine. Egyptians are regarded as the pioneers of reflexology and significantly inspired Greeks, Romans and more civilizations.
While these are the earliest evidenced recordings of massage therapy, it has been spoken of in India since 3000BC when Hindus used touch to heal in Ayurvedic medicine. This Sanskrit term translates as “life health” or “life science” and is known by many to be the origin of holistic medicine, combining meditation, relaxation and aromatherapy.
From these Eastern roots, Western massage was born.
In the early 1800s, Swedish doctor, gymnast and educator Per Henril Ling developed the “Swedish Movement System.” It was the foundation for Swedish massage most commonly used in the West today.
Ling’s system was furthered by Dutchman Johan Georg Mezger, who defined the basic hand strokes of what is today known as Swedish massage. Across the western hemisphere, Swedish massage and the Japanese Shiatsu massage style are the most popular.
The Future of Massage
The applications of massage therapy are endless. Massage therapy has developed from Eastern mysticism to Western medical prominence and the benefits are incredible.
The medical availability of massage therapy is still developing though it is already a vital element of recovery for many people.
Massage therapy is being used more and more across spas, gyms and workplaces throughout the west. Like yoga, massage therapy has become a significantly popular aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Massage therapy is also used extensively in the health care industry. Hospital massages, nursing home massages and prenatal massages are all popular options for patients and residents
Massage therapy also features extensively in physiotherapy, chiropractic clinics, sports therapy and other physical applications in healing injured muscles.