Touch is as essential to a healthy and happy life as eating right, getting proper sleep, and exercising. With the world growing more technological, the need for healthy human contact is more important than ever. Massage and body therapies are an age old healing refuge for us in this fast-paced, stressed-out world. The practice of massage therapy is rapidly growing in the United States. It has so much to offer and is becoming more widely accepted by doctors and the general public. Massage is touching another person by such movements as rubbing, kneading, pressing, rolling, slapping, and tapping. This type of therapy provides circulation of the blood and lymph, relaxation of muscles, relief from pain, restoration of metabolic balance, and many other benefits both physical and mental. There is much historical evidence to indicate that massage is one of the earliest remedies for pain relief and for the restoration of a healthy body. It is said to be the most natural and instinctive means of relieving pain and discomfort. Massage has proven to be an effective method for treating many conditions for thousands of years and it will continue to be used for thousands of years to come. Massage therapy is a great treatment for the body and soul.
The roots of massage can be traced back to ancient civilizations. In the book titled The Complete Book of Massage by Clare Maxwell-Hudson she illustrates that much evidence has been found to support the belief that prehistoric people massaged their muscles and even rubbed oils on their bodies(8). The history of massage probably begins before we could properly call ourselves human. We instinctively rub a pain or an ache, we instinctively stroke a bruise. We use touch in healing without thinking about it, which suggests that it's very, very old. Some form of massage was practiced in almost all early civilizations; Ancient Chinese, Japanese, India, Hindu, Greek, and Roman civilizations to name a few (Maxwell-Hudson 8).In the The Bodywork and Massage Sourcebook by Andrew and Valerie Levine they write about how, “Julius Caesar, who suffered from epilepsy, had himself pinched all over and massaged on a daily basis”(12).
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...simple as that. Although I am still in training I know the great effects it has on people because I have seen it first hand. I don’t know how long I will be able to do it though, only after a year my hands and writs are already hurting. What is massage? For me it's part of our family heritage that we're suffering for the lack of, and by not using it we're laying ourselves open to physical problems that shouldn't affect us anywhere near as badly as they do. I believe that by not using massage we're stiffer, tenser, and tireder than we'd be if we took back this ancient and essential part of our birthright.
Frijters, Sid “The psychological effects of massage”. <http://hammer.prosting.com/~khhc/massage.htm>
Levine, Andrew and Valerie. The Bodywork and Massage Sourcebook. Los Angeles: Lowell House, 1999
Maxwell-Hudson, Clare. The Complete Book of Massage. New York: Random House,1988.
Sutton, Catherine. “Discovering Shiatsu.”<www.Innerself.com>
Woodward, Donald. Personal interview. April 6.2002.
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