Archaeological evidence of massage has been found in many ancient civilizations including China, India, Japan, Korea, Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Mesopotamia.
Here are just a few amazing facts about massage!
1. An early reference to massage and reflexology in Ancient Egypt can be found in the decorations of the tomb of Ptahhotep . Ptahhotep is depicted having a manicure and pedicure and having his legs massaged by a servant.
2. The Kahun Medical Papyrus is a collection of ancient Egyptian texts discussing administrative, mathematical and medical topics, with most texts dated to 1825 BC. It contains a detailed reference to massage:
“Examination of a woman aching in her legs and her calves after walking. You should treat it with a massage of her legs and calves with mud until she is well.”
3. Depictions of the battle of Kadesh (Qadesh) show the soldiers of Ramses II receiving a much needed massage treatment following their long march.
4. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine, dated between 722-481 BC, is a compilation of medical knowledge known up to that date. Massage is referred to in 30 different chapters, with specific treatments using massage for injuries or ailments.
5. Sanskrit records indicate that massage had been practiced in India long before the beginning of recorded history.
6. Bian Que, the earliest known Chinese physician used massage in his medical practice. And in 581 AD China established a department of massage therapy within the Office of Imperial Physicians.
7. The Greeks are credited with practicing massage between 800 and 700 BC, after the philosophies and practices of the East made their way into ancient Western civilizations. One of the primary uses for massage during ancient Greek times was to tend to the athletes who trained for the Olympics.
8. Roman massage therapy practices have a history that is traced back to between 200 and 100 BCE. It became commonplace to see the well off enjoy massages within the comforts of their own homes.
9. Julius Caesar used massage as a treatment for his epilepsy.
10. French missionaries introduced Chinese massage techniques to Europe in 1776. They translated summaries of The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine, including a list of medical plants, exercises and elaborate massage techniques.
11. Techniques are still known by their French names: Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Tapotement, and Vibration. These techniques are fundamental elements of Tui na, and have been practiced in China for several thousand years.
Blue Orchid Massage
7/1/2013 06:19:05 am
Ooh a legs and calves mud massage for aching legs from too much walking. Yes please! Sign me up! :) I had no idea the history of massage.
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I've been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2006. In my free time I enjoy hiking with my husband and dog. I also have a passion for cooking, baking and gardening.