Even though your local massage clinic is a relatively modern development, the essential practice of massage goes far back through time. In reality, massage as a treatment is is older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
Today, for those of us who’ve suffered an accident, stress or suffer with physical discomfort, massage therapy is a relevant, contemporary treatment. Here is a short history review of massage as a therapy:
3300 BC – Evidence of massage appear in Sumerian Cunieform tablets.
2598 BC – The oldest existing medical text, the Nei Ching, from China mentions massage.
2500 BC – Massage practices are documented in Egyptian hieroglyphics in the tombs of kings and showed “animal healers” using massage treatments.
1500 BC – Proof of massage is recorded in Tibet, India and China.
377 BC – The Greek doctor Hippocrates declares “A doctor must be experienced in many things but assuredly also in rubbing”.
300BC-500AD – In The Roman Empire, massage was part of the bathing ritual. Those that could afford it might be bathed by attendants and have stiff muscles rubbed with warm plant oil.
500s-1700s – The western Church bans massage for its association with “sensual pleasure”.
1770 – Publication in France of the article by the Jesuit Amiat, “Chinese Pressure Point Massage” which became the basis for “Swedish Massage”.
1813 – Per Henrik Ling creates the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute in Stockholm, Sweden where “Swedish Massage” is developed.
1817 – First published book on massage by Cornelius E. De Puy, MD in the United States.
1819 – French surgeon Piorry researches the physiologic effects of massage.
1850’s – Systematic Massage Therapy is introduced in the US by physician siblings George and Charles Taylor who studied in Sweden.
1863 – The French publication Du Massage documents the effects of each massage method on specific bodily systems.
1900 – Finnish College of Massage develops first system of Sports Massage, evolving from Swedish Massage system.
1916 – Swedish Institute founded in NY.
1927 – New York Society of Medical Massage Therapists established.
1939 – Florida State Massage Therapy Association organized.
1960s to present – Evolution of human complementary healthcare, larger acknowledgment and understanding of massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy. Many varieties and specializations of bodywork are developed.
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