|The History of Massage|
The art of massage is probably as old as man himself, because to hold or rub an injured part is an instinctive reaction to the pain involved.
Massage has been practised in the Middle and Far East since at least 3000 BC. Physicians in ancient Greece were skilled in massaging stiff and painful joints - and Hippocrates, known as the "Father of Medicine", wrote in the 5th Century BC:
"The way to health is to have a scented bath and an oiled massage each day"
Oil is still used for most forms of massage, which became increasingly popular in Europe from the 19th Century onwards, when the Swedish gymnast Per Henrik Ling devised the aesthetic and scientific principles of what is now called Swedish Massage. Based on various ancient massage practices, it combines therapeutic massage with exercises for muscles and joints.
The next major step forward came in the early 1970s, when the American massage therapist George Downing published his trend-setting work, The Massage Book. In it, he formulated the idea of massage as a therapy, taking into account a person’s whole being - his physical, mental and emotional make-up. Downing also incorporated into his system the beliefs and techniques of two other well-known massage therapies, Reflexology and Shiatsu.
Since then, therapeutic massage has grown into the art of creating and maintaining the best possible health for its devotees. It aims to do this by in turn, relaxing, stimulating and invigorating mind and body.