Drawings of acupressure points on Sen lines at Wat Pho temple in Thailand Ancient and medieval times[ edit ] Archaeological evidence of massage has been found in many ancient civilizations including China , India , Japan , Korea , Egypt , Rome , Greece , and Mesopotamia. The Tomb of Akmanthor  also known as "The Tomb of the Physician" in Saqqara , Egypt depicts two men having work done on their feet and hands, presumably massage.
Huangdi Neijing is composed during the Chinese Spring and Autumn period the beginning of recorded history. The Nei-jing is a compilation of medical knowledge known up to that date, and is the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Massage is referred to in 30 different chapters of the Nei Jing. It specifies the use of different massage techniques and how they should be used in the treatment of specific ailments, and injuries.
Also known as "The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon", the text refers to previous medical knowledge from the time of the Yellow Emperor approx BC , misleading some into believing the text itself was written during the time of the Yellow Emperor which would predate written history.
Jivaka is known today as "Father Doctor" in Thailand. A possible biblical reference documents daily "treatments" with oil of myrrh as a part of the beauty regimen of the wives of Xerxes Esther , 2: Hippocrates wrote "The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing".
Sanskrit records indicate that massage had been practiced in India long before the beginning of recorded history. Dr Sun Si Miao introduces ten new massage techniques and systematized the treatment of childhood diseases using massage therapy.
China establishes a department of massage therapy within the Office of Imperial Physicians. Medical knowledge, including that of massage, made its way from Rome to Persia in the Middle Ages.
Later in the 11th century copies were translated back into Latin, and again in the 15th and 16th centuries, when they helped enlighten European scholars as to the achievements of the Ancient Greeks.
This renewal of the Galenic tradition during the Renaissance played a very important part in the rise of modern science. His works included a comprehensive collection and systematisation of the fragmentary and unorganised Greco-Roman medical literature that had been translated Arabic by that time, augmented by notes from his own experiences. Avicenna excelled in the logical assessment of conditions and comparison of symptoms and took special note of analgesics and their proper use as well as other methods of relieving pain, including massage.
Evidence of massage abortion, involving the application of pressure to the pregnant abdomen , can be found in one of the bas reliefs decorating the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It depicts a demon performing such an abortion upon a woman who has been sent to the underworld. This is the oldest known visual representation of abortion. Jean Joseph Marie Amiot , and Pierre-Martial Cibot , French missionaries in China translate summaries of Huangdi Neijing , including a list of medical plants, exercises and elaborate massage techniques, into the French language, thereby introducing Europe to the highly developed Chinese system of medicine, medical-gymnastics, and medical-massage.
Ling has often been erroneously credited for having invented "Classic Massage" aka "Swedish Massage", and has been called the "Father of Massage". According to Joseph Needhan, Cibot's work "was intended to present the physicists and physicians of Europe with a sketch of a system of medical gymnastics which they might like to adopt—or if they found it at fault they might be stimulated to invent something better. This work has long been regarded as of cardinal importance in the history of physiotherapy because it almost certainly influenced the Swedish founder of the modern phase of the art, Per Hendrik Ling.
Cibot had studied at least one Chinese book, but also got much from a Christian neophyte who had become expert in the subject before his conversion. Ling developed what he called the "Swedish Movement Cure.
Ling and his assistants left little proper written account of their methods. Dutch massage practitioner Johan Georg Mezger applies French terms to name five basic massage techniques,  and coins the phrase "Swedish massage system". These techniques are still known by their French names effleurage long, gliding strokes , petrissage lifting and kneading the muscles , friction firm, deep, circular rubbing movements , tapotement brisk tapping or percussive movements , and vibration rapidly shaking or vibrating specific muscles.
Massage room in Shanghai, China A woman gets a massage. It is widely practiced and taught in hospital and medical schools and is an essential part of health maintenance and primary healthcare.
Sports, business and organizations[ edit ] Massage developed alongside athletics in both Ancient China and Ancient Greece. Taoist priests developed massage in concert with their Kung Fu gymnastic movements, while Ancient Greek Olympians used a specific type of trainer "aleiptes"  who would rub their muscles with oil.
Pehr Ling's introduction to massage also came about directly as a result of his study of gymnastic movements. The Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was the first time that massage therapy was televised as it was being performed on the athletes.
And then, during the Summer Olympics in Atlanta massage therapy was finally offered as a core medical service to the US Olympic Team. Department of Justice , Boeing and Reebok. Michael Leahy in which specified techniques are used to release what are presumed to be soft tissue adhesions.
It is based on the concept of life energy which flows through "meridians" in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages in those meridians.
Pressure may be applied by fingers, palm, elbow, toes or with various devices. Some medical studies have suggested that acupressure may be effective at helping manage nausea and vomiting, for helping lower back pain, tension headaches, stomach ache, among other things, although such studies have been found to have a high likelihood of bias.
Aquatic therapy Aquatic bodywork comprises a diverse set of massage and bodywork forms performed in water. This includes land-based forms performed in water e. The name comes from the Japanese, ashi for foot and atsu for pressure. Ayurvedic massage[ edit ] Ayurvedic Massage known as Abhyangam in Sanskrit is one of the most common and important Ayurvedic therapies. According to the Ayurvedic Classics Abhayngam is an important dincharya Daily Regimen that is needed for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The massage technique used during Ayurvedic Massage is known to stimulate the lymphatic system to expel the toxins out from the body. The Ayurvedic Massage also stimulates production of lymphocytes which play a vital role in maintaining the immunity in human body.
Thus regular Ayurvedic Massage can lead to better immunity and also help in body de-toxification. The other benefits of regular Ayurvedic Massage include pain relief, reduction of fatigue, prevention of ageing and bestowing longevity.
Currently, Burmese massage also includes the use local natural ingredients such as Thanaka , which helps to promote smooth skin and prevents sunburn. Burmese massage is a full body massage technique that starts from head to toes, drawing on acupuncture , reflexology , and kneading. Signature massage strokes include acupressure using the elbows, quick gentle knocking of acupressure points, and slow kneading of tight muscles.
The massage is aimed to improve blood circulation and quality of sleep, while at the same time help to promote better skin quality. Bio-mechanical stimulation BMS massage[ edit ] Biomechanical stimulation BMS is a term generally used for localised biomechanical oscillation methods, whereby local muscle groups are stimulated directly or via the associated tendons by means of special hand held mechanical vibration devices. Biomechanical oscillation therapy and training is offered in a variety of areas such as competitive sports,  fitness, rehabilitation,  medicine,  prevention, beauty and used to improve performance of the muscles and to improve coordination and balance.
It is often used in the Myofascial trigger point therapy concept to invoke reciprocal inhibition within the musculoskeletal system.
Beneficial effects from this type of stimulation have been found to exist, the efficacy of the BMS Matrix therapy was proven in an independent study. Biodynamic massage Biodynamic massage was created by Gerda Boyesen as part of Biodynamic Psychotherapy. Practised as a stand-alone therapy, it is a combination of physical and energy work and also uses a stethoscope to hear the peristalsis.
Craniosacral therapy Craniosacral therapy CST is a gentle approach that releases tensions deep in the body by applying light touch to the skull, face, spine, and pelvis.
It is believed there are some specific points on the feet that correspond to different organs in the body. Stimulation of these points during foot massage can cause significant reduction in pain. Studies also suggest that foot reflexology massage can reduce fatigue and promote better sleep.