History of massage

Published: 16th February 2012
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The history of massage


Massage has been known since ancient times as one of the most effective ways to help. Not only humans but also animals use touch as a way of human exposure. This is proven by the fact that the peoples of the world in one form or another have used massage. Also the term “massage” can be found in all languages.




In ancient Chinese medical treatise, written about five thousand years ago, it is recommended "to knead" body "to protect against the cold, keep the bodies moving and prevent minor ailments." In another treatise contains information about using techniques similar to the passive movement of limbs, which are practiced in the modern Swedish massage. Ayurvedic texts of ancient India, which appeared four thousand years ago, are also advised to rub the body to treat and prevent disease. Since massage has become an integral part of Indian culture - for example, on the eve of the wedding the bride and groom must massage, Indian mothers are able to massage the newborn.


From the days of ancient Egypt to have reached a bas-relief depicting the Pharaoh Ptahotep, which massages the foot servant. Many centuries later, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra enjoyed a foot massage during the feasts. But massage is not just the preserve of the rich and the nobility - preserved evidence of the fact that even the Egyptians, who were on the lowest rung of the social ladder, were paid aromatic oils in sufficient quantities for daily use. The ancient Greeks sought primarily to physical perfection, and the massage was an integral part of grooming. Their famous medical centers, or school, the training consisted of an open-air halls, sports grounds and rooms for massage.


In ancient Greece, massage strongly recommended in those cases when it was required to cope with fatigue, sports injuries or combat injuries and illness. Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, has argued in V. BC, that a skilled physician to master the art of perfect "grinding" and prescribed sequence of aromatic baths, massages with oil daily for good health and stamina.


The ancient Romans also could not imagine life without massage and turned it into a ritual ablution. Wealthy citizens considered commonplace, when visiting the baths they rubbed the tired muscles of warm vegetable oil. This was followed by a full body massage to awaken the nerves, improve blood circulation and mobilize the joints. To conclude the procedure, the body anoint thee richly aromatic oils nourish the skin, so that she remained smooth and soft.


Healers of the time and went to the therapeutic effects of massage. One of the most famous physicians of antiquity Galen (130 - 200) wrote several treatises on massage, exercise and health. It was Galen classified hand movements of massage and used massage in the treatment of many diseases.


Middle Ages and more recently


After the fall of the Roman Empire, the center of science and culture has become the Arab world. Proceedings of Hippocrates, Galen and other famous healers have been translated into Arabic, preserving the centuries accumulated knowledge. Avicenna (ca. 980-1037), who lived in Central Asia and Iran, has written a well-known "Canon of Medicine", which summarized the views and experiences of Greek, Roman, Indian and Asian doctors, and went even further - described the medicinal plants, methods for treating spinal and different types of massage.


Meanwhile, in Europe the Catholic Church announced the massage is a terrible sin, associating touch with the "pleasures of the flesh." The practice of massage has become the lot of midwives or znaharok and transmitted through the maternal line, together with knowledge about medicinal herbs and other means of treatment. This information is treated with suspicion, and women are risking to be on fire, declared a witch. Well, they know how to give a back massage.


The Renaissance revived interest in classical medicine, massage, and gradually began to enjoy all the great respect in society. In the XVI century. Ambroise Pare, the doctor at the French royal court, is free to use massage in their practice Travelers-Europeans learned how highly regarded massage in other cultures. Captain Cook described how to Tahiti with his massage cured of sciatica. There is evidence. at the beginning of the XIX century. North American Indians of the Navajo and Cherokee tribes were treated with massage injured soldiers.


Closer to the present


Whatever it was, until the end of the XIX century. Swedish poet and athlete, Per Henrik AING (1776-1839) returned a therapeutic massage location of European society. Having cured himself of rheumatism, Ling developed a system based on physiological characteristics of an organism, gymnastic exercises and massage. Ling has worked under the patronage of the King of Sweden, and his methods were the basis of modern physical therapy. In 1894 was founded the Society of professional masseurs. A few years later at St George's Hospital in London to open a branch of massage, Swedish massage, and soon became an integral part of medical practice.


It was not until 1960, while training centers, especially Izalin Institute in California, not medical massage turned into a complete system that helps bring into balance the mind, body and emotions, rather than relieves muscle pain. This system is now widely used in traditional medicine as an adjunct to primary therapies.

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