A Brief Summary of the History of Massage

Definition of massage: manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, stroking, kneading, or tappying) with the hand or an instrument especially for therapeutic purposes. The term comes from the Greek ‘masso’, to knead, and the Arabic ‘mass’, to press gently.

History of massage tables: THE PLANET of Massage Museum displays a Victorian massage table from 1878, a vibrating massage table manufactured in 1918. The term massage table arrived sometime through the late 1920s. Ahead of that, devices useful for massage were called couches. The first massage tables were used during the time of Greeks and Romans and were made of marble slabs called plinths and limestone. In the late 19th century, during the Victorian era, where the term massage couch was used for massage tables that were pieces of furniture. deweyshouse.com They were usually stuffed with horsehair and were upholstered with velvet or similar material. Horse hair was used as it was more resistant than cotton. Then came the 1920s, when massage tables were developed in the usa. In the 1930s, the initial portable massage table was made, made of a wooden frame with metal or wooden legs. The facial skin hole cut into the head appeared sometime in the 1940s. Many practitioners adapted to George Downing’s tables from his 1960s book, “The Massage Book”, which included homemade models which were copied for another decade until the 1970s if they were commercially manufactured and readily available. The Battlecreek Company manufactured the initial light-weight massage table, introducing their aluminum folding portable table in the 1950s. The facial skin cradle, which attaches to the finish of the massage table was first introduced in the 1980s. The initial tables were made of wood and vinyl covered foam padding. Now current models are ergonomically designed with multilayered padding and can be found in a number of styles and colors. Specialty tables are available, such as those for pregnant women, doing special bodywork that requires an extra wide tabletop, on the list of numerous options available in today’s market. Massage table tops are easily cleaned and is no longer an issue with hygiene. They are also water/oil resistant and durable. Today, most top quality massage tables are being stated in the United States.

History of massage: The oldest written record of massage is approximately 4000 years old. It was found in a Chinese medical text, dated at around 1800 BC. Hippocrates of Cos (460 to 380 B.C.), the father of medicine and writer of the Hippocratic Oath, wrote “health related conditions must be experienced in many things but assuredly also in rubbing (anatripses); for items that have the same name haven’t always exactly the same effects. For rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that’s too rigid… Rubbing can bind and loosen; could make flesh (referring to the ability to tone muscle mass) and cause parts to waste (soften and relax). Hard rubbing binds; soft rubbing loosens; much rubbing causes parts to waste; moderate rubbing makes them grow.” Europe turned away teachings through the Dark Ages. Pehr Heinrick Ling, from Sweden, used his work in manual therapy with athletes especially gymnasts, which resulted in his development and research of soft tissue technique referred to as Swedish Massage. He was thought to be the ‘father of modern massage’. There are currently over 70 massage modalities practiced in the usa. Among them are Stone Massage, Reflexology, Pregnancy Massage, Thai Yoga Bodywork, Craniosacral Therapy, etc. You can find different types of massage, including the common types: Swedish massage, deep massage, sports massage, trigger point massage. Today, there exists a continuous rise in ‘preventative medicine’ where modalities such as for example massage, yoga, acupuncture, nutrition, took place in American’s good health practice.

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