Massage therapy seems to have been around as long as there have been humans.
We've been studying it since our business first began.
The healing power of touch, and the study of how to focus and enhance its healing power has been in evidence since earliest recorded history and many of the styles and techniques developed in ancient cultures remain relevant today. Here are a few examples.
China, 2700 BCE: The first known Chinese manual on the subject, the Huangdi Neijing (The Yellow Emperor's Classic Book of Internal Medicine) appeared. It was first published in English in 1949 and remains an important text for massage therapy training to this day. It describes many familiar forms such as acupuncture, acupressure and herbology.
Egypt, 2500 BCE: Painted tomb walls depict scenes of Reflexology as part of their medical tradition, and it is believed that they influenced Greek and Roman medicine as the mediterranean world expanded.
India, 1500 and 500 BCE (or earlier): Hindus used the art of healing touch in Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word meaning the “science of life/health”. Employing the complementary practices of meditation, relaxation and aromatherapy, the idea of Holistic healing comes from India.
Japan, 1320: Akashi Kan Ichi developed the massage technique Anma, in the 1320s. Major contributions to the "Manual of Anma" were made by Fujibayashi Ryohaku, and Sugiyama Waichi, a practitioner of acupuncture. The confluence of these ideas contributed to the growth of Shiatsu, which literally means “finger pressure”.
Sweden, 1804: Per Henril Ling, a Swedish doctor and gymnast credited with developing calisthenics, introduced his "Swedish Movement System." Later Johan Georg Mezger defined the basic techniques which informed the contemporary and popular practice of Swedish Massage, which -along with the Japanese method of Shiatsu- is the most commonly practiced massage methodology today.
Present day: With a vast array of techniques, from anecdotal to vigorously scientific, today’s choices for massage therapy are globally-informed and seemingly limitless. It seems that massage has become a part of the common western lifestyle. So, how do you know what style of massage is right for you?
There are industry-specific methods like Sports Medicine and Massage, and many Healthcare fields like Chiropractic, Elderly care, and Physical Therapy. There are standard bodywork techniques including Shiatsu, Deep Tissue Massage, Myofascial Release, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Rolfing, and Swedish Massage. There are even highly specialized practices like Trigger Point Therapy, Prenatal Massage, and Fertility Massage, plus many more.
In the end you will find that different techniques work best for different people. The important part is that you form a relationship of trust with a competent professional and work with that person to address your unique needs. If you are interested in learning more about the history of massage, feel free to follow the links we’ve placed on the key terms above. If you want to know more about our services and see what certifications Rita has achieved in her field, please check out our Services page. As always, if you have any questions, just call or contact us today. Not only will you experience the difference when you come to Living Touch Massage, but you will be a part of a tradition that goes back as far as human history!