The History and Development of Massage

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					                     The History and Development of Massage

The history of massage started during the 3000 BC when the Chinese wrote Cong-Fu of
the Tao-Tse, the oldest book written about massage which was later translated to
French in the 1700s. In 2760 BC, Nei Ching or the Yellow Emperor’s Esoteric Classic
discussed therapeutic touch.

The Egyptians made their contribution in massage when they created reflexology in
2500 BC. Even the Indians participated in the development of massage when they
established Ayurvedic massage.

During 500 BC-50 AD, the Greek and Romans used massage on Olympic athletes and
to relieve neuralgia and epileptic seizures. Hippocrates, the father of medicine,
incorporated massage in medicine. In 130 AD-201 AD, Galen, a Greek physician from
the school of gladiators who were rubbed before fighting wrote a book on manual

In 100s AD, schools for massage therapy were created in China. Then in 600s AD the
Japanese developed shiatsu, which uses the fingers to apply pressure on acupuncture
points to regenerate energy. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), pediatric massage
therapy or tuina evolved into a higher form of therapy which is still used today.

During 1776-1813, Per Henrik Ling, a fencing master and gymnast cured himself of
rheumatism through massage and created Medical Gymnastics and later formed the
Royal Gymnastic Central Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Then in 1839-1909, Johann
Mezger introduced medical massage to the scientific community and the terms
effleurage, petrissage and tapotement became familiar.

The effects of massage on anemia were researched by medical doctors and professors
in New York City in 1880. Four years later, Professor Charcot, a French physician who
taught Sigmund Freud recommended massage therapy in French medicine.

The Society of Trained Masseuses was formed in Britain which offered massage
education recognized by schools in 1894. A year after, Sigmund Freud used massage
therapy to treat hysteria. During the same year, Harvey Kellog wrote The Art of

The 1900’s gave birth to different massage therapy methods like Jin shin jyutsu or the
art of circulation awakening developed in Japan by Jiro Murai, The Alexander
Technique created by F.M. Alexander, an Australian actor, Naprapathy (1907) which
originated in Chicago, Bindgewebs massage (1929), created by German Physical
therapist, Elizabeth Dicke and Neuromuscular therapy (1930) created by Stanley Leif.

In 1937, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, discovered the healing powers of essential oils
accidentally during a laboratory experiment where he burned his hand and used
lavender oil to soothe it. He coined the word Aromatherapy. Two years after, The
Florida State Massage Therapy Association Inc. (FSTMA) was organized. Today, it is
one f the oldest massage organizations with 85 charter members.

The Massage Registration Act was formulated during 1949, and in 1950 Francis
Tappan and Gertrude Beard wrote books and articles concerning massage techniques.
Two years later, Hoshino Therapy, which is an official medical therapy in Argentina was
developed. Then during the 1960s, John Barnes created Myofascial Release Therapy.

In 1977-1978, Aston- Patterning was developed by Judith Aston and Hellerwork was
created by Joseph Heller. Both methods are forms of rolfing.

During the 1980s, the Association of Bodywork and Massage Practitioners was
established. Also, Watsu or water therapy was developed by Harold Dull followed by
Stuart Taws creation of Taws Method or Soft Tissue Release.

In the 1990s, a protocol for fybromyalgia syndrome was defined by the American
College of Rheumatology and the Touch Research Institute, which studies the effects of
touch therapy was established.

Description: Useful and helpful tips on using massage to relax, rest and be healthy.