Massage therapy is regarded as one of the oldest healing techniques to the human body. There is proof that before recorded history practising this form of healing was being taken place. In a busy modern-day society we may overlook the importance of a daily massage and what benefits it can bring to your well-being. The history of this practice shows how it evolved from a massage into a scientific medical treatment.
Massage generalises many different techniques of human touch and dates back to as early as 2330 B.C in Saqqara Egypt. For as long as history recalls that human touch techniques have always been regarded as a therapy and treatment for alignments and injury issues. There are hieroglyphic images that show that human touch techniques were being applied as a medicinal form of therapy.
Archaeologists have found proof in Greece, China, India, Japan, Korea, Rome, Egypt and Mesopotamia. As massage techniques were so widely spread over continents this allowed for many different techniques and approaches to develop.
Early on in 722 BC Nei-Jing was knowledge of traditional massage techniques in China was referred to as “the yellow Emperor’s inner Canon.” This relates to the use of different human touch techniques to be applied to specific alignments and muscle tension. Chinese physicians such as Bian Que utilised massage therapy as far back as 700 BC in medical practices based on the Nei-Jing therapy of Chinese Medicine.
Massage In China was formally recognised in 581 A.D. and amongst the office of imperial physicians sector of massage therapy was formed.
There is evidence found from 300 BC that Charaka Samhita one of the three ancient treatises in Ayurvedic Therapy that prove long before recorded history massage was performed in India. This shows a common trend in humanity that early on humans required massage therapy to be practised to alleviate pain and unwanted stress on the body.
Thai massage dates back as early as 500 BC and is composed from essence of Indian and Chinese medicine. The initiator Jivaka Komarabhacca was also known to be Buddha’s Physician. He believes that a combination of yoga postures reflexology, acupuncture assisted with massage therapy was a successful healing module.
Buddhist monks in 100BC from Japan learning Buddhism in China, observed the traditional healing practices including massage therapy. Japan began to utilise massage and human touch techniques in their own healing practices and develop their own form known as shiatsu massage.
The teachings of the Galen referred the ancient Greek physician dating back to 130 – 201 A.D. which was using massage therapy to treat injuries and diseases. Galen is highly regarded as one of the greatest medical positions in history. He spent many years gaining knowledge and practice as a physician to the gladiators of Circus Maximus and developed as what is known now as an Orthopaedic massage Specialist.
The Middle Ages is where massage therapy spread from Rome to Persia and developed teachings in Swedish medical practices. Pehr Henrik Ling was a Teacher of Medical Gymnastics in Sweeden who developed the “classic” style massage also known as a Sweedish massage. Ling was Born in 1776 and was nicknamed “the father of massage”
Pierre-Martial Cibot was a Frenchman who developed a movement style adopting medical gymnastic techniques which where importance to the development of Physiotherapy. Pierre published ‘Notice du Cong-fou des Bonzes Tao-see’ which summarised the techniques used by Taoist priests. This greatly influenced Pehr Henrik Ling in developing practices for Sweedish massage.
In modern-day society massage therapy is utilised across much of the globe and has become a major industry to assist in medical health. Massage techniques have been used for over 5000 years and are continually being refined and bettered with new technology and understanding of the human body. Human touch therapy will be an important part in the future and will insist on maintaining healthy and more productive living. Contact your nearest physician to book an appointment.