Massage and its history

The massage is definitely a technique as old as the history of mankind. In India you can see the Vedic scriptures found by expert archaeologists, dating back to 3000. C. (+/-) with Ayurvedic techniques in which specific massage maneuvers mentioned. The Vedas Aroma therapy techniques used to re-balance their psycho-physical states based on knowledge of herbs and aromatic properties.

In China it was discovered in 2500. C. (+/-) the white paper Kong Fou, which is considered the first treatise on massage. Collect Taoist thought, pointing convenience to heal through massage and breathing techniques for therapeutic purposes. Also in 1500. C. (+/-) another very important book “Nei-Jing tried Internal Medicine or Doctrine of the Interior,” written by Huang-Di the “Yellow Emperor” where the practice of massage, acupuncture is recommended, moxibustion is and herbal practices.

In ancient Egypt, the priest, to teach different techniques of physical and mental para favorecer el bienestar natural, taught him the secrets of how to heal through the laying on of hands, manipulation of muscle areas or plexus to achieve balance and calm. They were the first to use the chrome therapy.

In Greece, the birthplace of the sciences and the arts, the first gyms were founded and were the creators of the Olympics. Thanks to them the practice of massage was usually gymnast, is much revered body worship and women baths and therapeutic treatments were done, they liked having a slim and slender body.

Homer, Greek philosopher, in his book “The Iliade and Odyssey”, spoke of how diet, exercise and manual therapy treatments were applied to war heroes like Ulysses, after the battle at the gates of Troy, requested massage. The most representative figures of the Greek era are Aristotle, Galen and the great Hippocrates, father of medicine that leaves a very important work “Treaty of joints and fractures,” also develops scientific work on techniques for venous emptying or bypass circulatory I call “Embrocation”.







In Rome, massages become enormously popular, many spas are created, “the Traclatores” were professionals therapeutic and sports massage. Roman medicine encourages the use of massage oils and essences as they felt powerful effects due to their properties. In more late Roman other massage techniques designed to increase the libido appear. The Romans also linked the disease with poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and altered emotional states.

The Arabs, who know astrology, philosophy and mathematics, in addition to their own knowledge in medical field, many translated from Greek medical works, to which they added the knowledge learned in the Chinese and Indians conquered lands. Accustomed to live the vastness of the desert were well aware of the importance of water. Once arrived to the south of Spain, having already conquered the entire Maghreb, discovered aqueducts and canals, courtyards with fountains and baths. They developed and extended the study of water-related techniques. The Muslims did not conceive city without bathroom, the Spanish Arabs spread the use of the bathroom and took him to all corners of the country and making it accessible to all of society: rich and poor, men and women, young and old, Muslims, Jews and Christians, leading to the so-called “hammam”. Ibn Sina or Avicenna (980-1037) was a physician, philosopher and scientist Persia. Wrote about 450 books on various subjects, mainly philosophy and medicine; his most famous books were The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine (known as Canon of Avicenna). It is considered one of the greatest physicians of all time. He wrote a treatise on baths, massage, healing value of music, sleep and rest. Today in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, is still practiced and used as if centuries had elapsed.

Massage in the sixteenth century

In the sixteenth century with the fall of the Roman Empire also comes the decline of massage. Religion begins its expansion, Christianity imposes a new very strict and repressive morality. For the church diseases were conceived as punishment for sin, rejected any practice that related to eroticism. Were disappearing all fitness centers and bathrooms. The massages were for them some erotic and focused on destruction, which ended only practiced brothel. The darkness that covers this century comes to medicine and all science. In Europe, the situation will not change until the Renaissance.

In the Renaissance period becomes the light that illuminates all that darkness had hidden, collected and updated all contributions to classical culture. The medicine is not out of this impulse. Gazio, Fuschs and Paracelsus studied the physical and massage exercises with particular attention to the friction. According to Paracelsus (1494-1541), German physician, alchemist and naturist believed in the radiant essence of the person, this power has to transmit it to the patient’s doctor and the best way is to treat it with bare hands. Passionate study of the human body followed the tenets of Hippocrates. According to him frictions are excellent as a preventive, not curative and should be applied with “prudence and serenity.”

The French Ambrose Pare (1517-1590), surgeon researching and practicing with the wounded from the battlefields of the time. Ambrose applied massage stumps, scars and atrophied muscles, more hygienic that therapeutic purposes. In one of his publications described the healing and positive effects of massage. Difererentes also classified the types of manual operations. Because of their knowledge, Ambrose Pare was required by the French court and worked as a physician for several reigns.

Jerome Mercurialis (1530-1606), Italian wrote the first treatise massage and gymnastics as a therapeutic means.

Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth century are many doctors that refer to massage between therapeutic means: Kirchberg, Hoffman, Andry …

Neoclassicism (1800), marked by the revival of art and of Greek, Egyptian and Roman styles, adopting some of their customs relating to personal care. They begin to use new oils, ointments, baths and massages. By the end of 1800 as a scientific practice massage for health maintenance and treatment of some diseases was restored. Became popular again the baths and balneotherapy.

The massage in the nineteenth century

During this century we find the great advances in all fields of science.

Pehr Henrik Ling (1776-1839), philosopher and teacher of Swedish fencing, excels in the field of massage therapy. He founded the Central Fitness Institute in Stockholm. He studied massage in preparation for gymnastic exercises, including movements and pressure, friction, vibration, rotation and percussion. Ling honed his theories on a trip to China. Ling is considered the real founder of both the current Swedish massage and calisthenics. He was considered the father of physiotherapy. He left little written work, but trained many disciples who reported “Ling System” which was released by publishing his posthumous work called “Swedish Movements, healing movement.” This new technique was extended to the rest of Europe and the former Russia.

Johan Georg Metzger, Dutch (1838-1909), was one of the disciples. He published: “Treaty of dislocations of the foot through massage” which develops and consolidates the ideas of Ling. His work of great success, impressed by the scientific soundness of its foundations as it was the first time that massage was studied in itself, as an independent therapy gym. Imposes the scientific massage. From him their physiological bases and their different techniques and applications for each case studied. French surgery turns to massage treatments, and England JB Mennell develops a rigorous scientific work by the end of the century.

AT Still (USA) founded osteopathy, maintaining that most of the diseases come by vertebral subluxations that can be treated with different massage techniques. Osteopathy immediately successful getting to the point that the mid-twentieth century the number of osteopathic physicians approached the US. Both osteopathy and chiropractic Daniel Palmer have contributed indirectly to the disclosure of manual therapies such as massage.

Elizabeth Dicke (end of the century) developed some theories about the reflection connective tissue massage. A huge field is thus opened. Until then, the classic Swedish massage, manipulations applied directly to injured areas. The reflexogenic massage uses specific techniques to remote areas of the affected areas, but connected to injured by a neural circuit, so that the stimulus that originates in the treated area falls on the affected.

Massage in the XXI century

The advances of this century have had a negative influence on the practice of manual therapy due to the incorporation of medical appliances, more specifically used with specific flows for muscle recovery that made greatly diminished the recommendation of manual massage. Physical therapists, who know human anatomy, have been manipulated by the interests of big companies relating to rehabilitation that were born in this century, they lost interest in learning massage techniques and practice it came down to a simple friction replaced by the ever more frequent use of more sophisticated appliances.

Today, for medicine no manual physiotherapy techniques are quite unknown, although some doctors with a muscle strain or back pain recommend users visit a massage therapist to limit the intake of anti-inflammatory drugs, avoiding the side effects of these .

In the middle of this century began to new techniques and manual therapies, many physicians appear investigated. Most of these techniques were originated from Eastern philosophy, which regarded the body as a whole, not only physical, but also energy, hence the need to balance the body through massage and techniques that make the energy flow or ki “energy body channels,” according to his theory as there is a direct influence on our energetic harmony and proper physical condition of the body. This favored the emergence of many energy massage techniques in which there was talk of energy bodies, chakras, meridians …

In Spain it is noteworthy Dr. Vicente Lino Ferrandiz (1893-1981) which due to their lung problems at an early age moved to Switzerland to be, and that is where it comes into contact first with Natural Medicine. When Ferrandiz reached the age of 20, and best of their lung deficiencies and recovered, he devoted himself to studying Naturopathy, first hand Dr. Forest, medical Sanitarium Leman in Gland (near Geneva) and later the United States, where it will already named what we understand as “naturopath”.

Returning to his native country “Spain”, created the first school of Chiropractic massage in Barcelona. Student of Dr. Ferrándiz, include Dr. Sagrera Ferrandiz (adopted son of Dr. Ferrándiz) and Professor Roger Garrido Montanyana. Each founded his own school with a particular system of work. Practically most masseuses trained in Catalunya on the decade of the 80-90 were formed in one of two schools. Then new training centers were appearing, many of them of great quality and high readiness when forming their future professional massage therapists and manuals.