Throughout the ages the power of touch has been used to enrich the lives of individuals. The common purpose of massage is to help people relieve their pain. In fact massage has been used to help patients recover faster from surgery and injury. Here is how massage has devoloped in the western world:
1700s: In the colonial times massage therapists were called RUBBERS. The sole purpose of medical rubbers were to help patients with rehabilitation.
1850s: Medical gymnasts came to America and began to revolutionize the world of massage. The Swedish techniques were developed by Pehr Henrich Ling. This technique promoted health, prevented disease and treated injuries.
1880s: Soft tissue manipulation became common along with vibration. Masseuse and Masseur became common terms.
1890s: Natural approaches became center stage. The treatments included massage and hydrotherapy.
1900s: By this time massage was used widely to improve circulation and combat the Rest Cure (neurasthenia). By this time we also see padded massage tables being used for full body massage.
1930s: The Swedish massage we know and love has been developed.
1960s: Massage Therapy replaces titles like Massage Parlor, Masseuse, and Masseur.
1970-2000s: Techniques of massage further develop. We start to see techniques from around the world like acupressure become integrated into therapies.
1990s: Massage Therapists start to become licensed and schooling is required.
This brief snapshot in history shows us that massage has been helping people for decades! Massage Therapy continues to expand as we learn more about diseases and conditions. Whether you are in daily pain or just need to relax massage therapy is a great practice to help you feel better.