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A Brief History of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a proven remedy for a range of complaints and helps people living with chronic pain achieve a better quality of life without the need for medication. Many people who are new to massage therapy underestimate the lengthy history of this treatment. Here is a closer look at the surprising history of massage therapy.

Massage Therapy in Ancient Times
Massage therapy first appears in writings that date back to 2700 BCE in China, when a text called The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine was created. This book has stood the test of time and is still used as a training text for a number of different alternative medicine modalities, including massage therapy. Egyptian hieroglyphics depict massage therapy and reflexology, and the techniques from these images were adopted in Greek and Roman societies. Between 1500 and 500 BCE, massage therapy appeared in writings from India.

The Swedish Movement System
A Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling revolutionized the field of massage therapy in the early 1800s. He developed a practice called the Swedish Movement System that used long hand strokes on muscles to ease pain and tension. His system was refined by Johan Georg Mezger in Holland, who developed many of the strokes and techniques that are now considered to be Swedish massage. Swedish massage forms the basis of most types of massage therapy today.

Massage Therapy in the U.S.
Massage therapy rose to prominence in the U.S. beginning in the early 1900s, particularly as a treatment for soldiers who returned home from WWI suffering from nerve damage and shell shock. Interest in natural healing and wellness practices made massage therapy an in-demand therapy in the U.S. from the second half of the 1900s onward to today.

Experience the benefits of massage therapy for yourself with a treatment at Advanced Therapeutic Massage in Pullman, WA. This practice offers professional, affordable massage therapy for a range of conditions. Make an appointment today by calling (509) 339-7676.

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