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The History of Massage

15 March 2020

Written by Graham H

© Trusted Touch Therapies 

Evidence of massage has existed in many cultures across the world for thousands of years appearing in the Far East, Asia, North Africa and Europe. Of course there is some discussion about the exact origins of massage. The oldest recorded account of human touch being used for remedial purposes the Cong-Fu of the Toa-Tse, from China circa 3000BC. The text refers to the manipulation of soft tissue. The techniques include applying pressure to muscles as well as meridian points. 

Evidence suggests that the ancient Chinese practitioners believed their massage relaxed muscles and also improved the functioning of internal organs.

Ancient Indian texts describe various massage techniques, which they believed promoted spiritual and physical healing.

In Greece Hippocrates taught forms of massage to his students around 500 B.C. Asclepiads, another medical practitioner in Greece, was so impressed by the benefits of massage, that he advocated the use of massage therapy for healing, above all traditional forms of medicine.

Many historians believe that a French translation of the Cong-Four that appeared about 150 years ago, served as the foundation for the development of the now-popular Swedish massage.

Although many credit Per Hendrix-Ling for its development during the early 18th century. Per Hendrix-Ling believed that massage could heal the body by stimulating circulation of the blood and lymph systems. He suffered from gout and developed his massage system to improve his condition. He did not equate massage with relaxation or any other psychological benefit.

Current Swedish massage has evolved and is now gentler, although the focus is still on oxygenating blood and releasing toxins and manipulating soft tissue for relaxation and release of physical and emotional tensions.

The healing power of touch has, and always will be a part of the health and wellbeing of cultures across the world.

Written by Graham H

© Trusted Touch Therapies 

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