The health benefits of massage therapy are being highlighted nowadays by natural healing practitioners. However, massage therapy is not actually a modern trend because it dates back to 3000 BCE or earlier in India. It was a practice that was passed down through generations for healing injuries, relieving pain, and preventing and curing illnesses.
The history of massage therapy
Promoters of “Ayurveda” or life health medicine considered massage therapy as a sacred system of natural healing. It was believed to restore the natural and physical balance of the body so that it will heal naturally.
At about 2700 BCE, the healing methods of massage travelled to China and Southeast Asia and were combined with the skills and practices of traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, and the spiritual yoga training of Buddhists. The Chinese also believed that disease is caused by an imbalance of energy of various pathways.
In 2500 BCE, massage therapy travelled to Egypt. This is proven by tomb paintings. The Egyptians added their own techniques and were credited with the development of reflexology that involves the application of pressure to specific points on the feet and hands to effect healing.
Later on, monks who were studying Buddhism in China brought massage therapy to Japan. The Japanese added their own twist to massage therapy and called it Shiatsu. This massage technique is designed to regulate and strengthen the organs of the body by rebalancing the energy levels through the stimulation of pressure points. The goal of shiatsu is to bring natural resistance to illnesses.
In the early 1800s, Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish doctor, created a method called Swedish massage to relieve chronic pain. It involves stroking, pressing, squeezing, and striking to penetrate the deeper tissues. In the 1930s Swedish massage evolved and became a legitimate and respected form of medicine for pain management and health care.
Another type of massage that has been practiced thousands of years ago is a tantric massage that releases the sexual energy in the body. The goal is to bring harmonious relationships between couples by helping them identify their whole self to enter a new sensual world that will provide unbelievable pleasure and peace.