There is much debate as to where the actual beginnings of massage therapy began and for what reasons. Some credit the Greek physician Hippocrates for bringing awareness of possible healing effects from the “friction” of rubbing and encouraging other physicians to use this technique to help their patients around 460 BC. It has also been noted that ancient communities in areas such as Rome, China, Greece and Egypt have documented writings mentioning the ideas of massage dating as far back as 300 BC. Taking a leap through time, medical massage techniques became popular in the 1850’s when a brother/doctor duo, George and Charles Taylor, brought their knowledge of the therapy with them to the United States from Europe.
Once introduced in the United States, medical massage therapy techniques continued to gain popularity and during World War I, soldiers even received massage treatment for symptoms of post-war nervous conditions. Unfortunately, soon after, due to rapid medical technology advances, massage became more of a luxury instead of being included in the current mainstream health practices. Because of the decline in positive medical endorsement to massage therapy, the practice became more known for seedy parlors with more of a sexual nature accompanying the massage. Luckily, through generations of research and increased regulations, and the increased awareness of natural medicine, massage therapy began to gain back its status as a valid and necessary conservative health treatment option for patients.
References Cited in this Article