5 Ways Massage Developed Across Thousands of Years

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Massage History

If you think the popularity of massage is something new, you’re wrong by about 5,000 years. Massage has been making people feel better for literally thousands of years. Here are 5 steps in the history of massage.

Have you had a massage? Are you a regular or are you considering getting a massage for the very first time? When you go for your massage, you’re joining men and women across history. Here are 5 steps in the development of massage.

1. The Beginning of Massage. Touch therapy was part of Ayurveda, the Indian traditional holistic healing. Ayurveda is still practiced in India but the first practice dates back to 3000 BCE (Before Common Era). To heal naturally, Ayurveda is based on balanced the body and refreshing harmony between the person and the world around the individual. In addition to touch, herbalism, aromatherapy, color therapy and sound therapy is used.

2. Reflexology is Ancient. While the earliest written records of massage were found in China and Egypt, it’s the Egyptians who can claim starting reflexology in about 2500 BCE. Pressure was applied to very specific “reflex zones” or points on both the hands and the feet. This pressure was thought to be beneficial for the parts of the body connected to the zones in the hand or foot. Tomb paintings in Egypt show individuals being massaged.

3. China and Japan Join In. Massage is mentioned in Chinese texts dating as far back as 2700 BCE. Both Buddhists and Taoists thought touch was essential to relaxation and the spiritual side of yoga training. In about 1000 BCE, monks from Japan who studied Buddhism in China brought back massage to their island. It was the beginning of Shiatsu massage designed to rebalance energy.

4. Ancient Greece and the Romans Embrace Massage. In Ancient Greece, massage was used to keep athletes in top shape. Herbs and oil combined with massage to treat medical conditions. For women, the benefits of the aromatic oils became beauty treatments. The Romans followed when noted Galen, a physician to emperors, used massage to treat injuries and instructed other physicians to follow his lead.

5. The USA and Massage. Massage was used in the early 20th to treat World War I soldiers who suffered shell shock or nerve injuries. In the latter half of that century, interest in natural healing took massage out of its unsavory reputation as part of sex trade and once again made it a respected part of the healing art.

You can see that when you have a massage to relax you, lessen your pain and refresh your body and spirit, you’re joining a long line of humans who have enjoyed and benefited from massage. It has literally been proved across thousands of years as beneficial, so call your local massage spa and book your massage. Relax! It’s a proven way to feel better.

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