The word massage is most likely to have emerged from the Greek word ‘Massein’, meaning eto kneadf or the Arabic word ‘mas’h’ meaning ‘to press softly’. Massage is one the oldest form of physical medicine known to man and can be traced back to the early Chinese medical manuscripts around 400BC. Massage was advocated by Hippocrates who was born in the fifth century and was known as ‘the father of medicine’ Between 1776 and 1839, a Swedish professor, Peter Ling, created a scientific system of therapeutic massage known as Swedish massage and established a teaching institute in Stockholm. Today, massage therapy is one of the fastest growing forces in the field of health care.
Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin; it also works on the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves. Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.
Although a single massage will be enjoyable, the effects of massage are cumulative and a course of massage treatments will bring the most benefits. Regular massage can have the effect of strengthening and toning the entire body mechanism, and so help to prevent unnecessary strains and injuries that might otherwise occur due to excess tension and any resulting structural weaknesses. Massage can have a modulating effect on the nervous system and thus help to increase energy and reduce fatigue.