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History of Massage Therapy

History of Massage Therapy

Tara Matthew

We all enjoy a good massage, but have you ever wondered where massage originated? It is safe to assume massage therapy has been around for many years, but you might be surprised to know that it dates back thousands of years to many of our most ancient civilizations.

The first known Chinese text written about massage therapy was dated back to 2700BC. This text was translated to English in 1949 and is a staple in massage therapy education today. In Egypt, there are tomb paintings that show massage therapy as part of the medical traditions that date back to 2500 BC.

The English Version of the book

In the 1800’s a Swedish doctor, Per Henrik Ling, developed the basis of Swedish Massage with a movement called the “Swedish Movement System”. Swedish Massage was then further developed by a Dutchman named Johann Georg Mezger who defined the hand movements and strokes associated with Swedish Massage as we know it today.

Per Henrick Ling

Even though massage has a long history, it is still in the very early stages of being incorporated into Western medicine. Over the past 50 years, massage therapy has gained momentum and is now a very popular complimentary therapy in medicine. Today many people seek massage therapy for more than just relaxation; research has shown that massage with managing chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and depression.

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