Massage Introduction – its Origin
Massage is one of the oldest practices known to history, along with healing. References to it are found in Chinese texts over 4,000 years old. Massaging has been used in European health care practices since the time of Hippocrates. In the fourth century B.C. he wrote, “The physician must be acquainted with many things and assuredly with rubbing”.
The basic philosophy of massage therapy is: vis Medicatrix naturae. Meaning aiding the body to heal itself and achieving or increasing health and well-being.
It is the specific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. These being skin, muscles and tendons, ligaments. The concept is to normalise those tissues and create harmony. Massaging usually consists of manual, (and possibly other), techniques that include applying static or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body.
This form of touch therapy is applied primarily with the hands, sometimes the forearms and even the elbows can be used. The techniques affect the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body.
While massages can be described in terms of the type of techniques to be performed, it is not a recipe to follow. All massages also has an intuitive component. the massage therapist should feel the flow and adjust the pressure and flow of the strokes instinctively. There has to be a sensitivity to the process. There is almost an artistic component to the flow of the movement.
When touch is used with an instinctive sensitivity also allows the massage therapist to gain vital information from their hands about the client’s body; like spotting areas of muscle tension and other soft tissue problems.
Touch is a very primal form of communication, sensitive touch will engender a sense of caring to the person receiving massage.