Holistic Massage History
Massage may be the oldest and simplest form of medical care. Egyptian tomb paintings show people being massaged. In Eastern cultures, massage has been practiced continually since ancient times. A Chinese book from 2,700 B.C., The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, recommends 'breathing exercises, massage of skin and flesh, and exercises of hands and feet" as the appropriate treatment for -complete paralysis, chills, and fever."
It was one of the principal method of relieving pain for Greek and Roman physicians. The Greeks used massage as part of everyday fitness and exercise. The Romans used it for stiffness, curing disease, strengthening and healing the body.
In the 19th century a Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling used a system based on a study of gymnastics and physiology, and on techniques borrowed from China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Physiotherapy, originally based on Ling's methods, was established with the foundation in 1894 of the Society of Trained Masseurs.
During World War I patients suffering from nerve injury or shell shock were treated with massage. However, later breakthroughs in medical technology and pharmacology eclipsed massage.
Massage lost some of its value and prestige with the unsavoury image created by "massage parlours". It is now reputable again for being highly effective for physiological and psychological conditions.
Massage is now used in intensive care units, for children, elderly people, babies in incubators, and patients with cancer, AIDS, heart attacks, or strokes. Most hospices have some kind of bodywork therapy available, and it is frequently offered in health centres, drug treatment clinics and pain clinics.
A variety of massage techniques have also been incorporated into several other complementary therapies, such as Aromatherapy, Reflexology an Indian Head Massage.