Massage is considered to be among the oldest of all treatments used by humankind. Records documenting its use dating back as far as 3,000
years were made by the Chinese, who claim that Anmo has been used for 5,000 years. The ancient Hindus, Persians, and Egyptians used forms of massage for some ailments. Ayurveda often translated as the 'science of life', has been practiced in India for more than 5,000 years and Ayurvedic massage as part of the whole body detoxification system of Pancha Karma, has been practice nearly as long. Traditional Thai Medical Massage or Nuad Bo Rarn has been taught and practiced in Thailand for about 2,500 years. Although the origins are somewhat vague, credit for the origin of Thai Massage is given to a famous Indian doctor, Shivago Komarpaj, who was the personal physician of the Buddha and Magadha king. It is said to have originated in the Vajrayana Yogic medicine of Tibet before coming to Thailand. Around the fourth or fifth century B.C., the Greek, Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Hippocrates is often sited as the "Father of Medicine" in the Western World.
While the healing power of touch is a very ancient concept, a common technique, Swedish massage is named for massage pioneer
Peter Ling (1776-1839) who was Swedish and practiced in France. The father of massage therapy in the United States was Cornelius E. De Puy, MD, who published his first journal on the subject in 1817.
Today, massage is an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs and has proven a benefit to many chronic conditions such as neck, shoulder or low
back pain, arthritis, and bursitis. It can speed recovery from acute trauma such as sports injury, auto accidents and surgery. Massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living.
There are dozens of massage, bodywork, energy healing and wholistic therapies which are practiced today. Please refer to our "Definitions" pages for specific
information on over 250 modalities.
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