Massage therapy is believed to have originated in India around 3,000 BCE within the Ayurveda system of medicine. It is said to be of divine origin, passed down orally, and centered around the holistic believes of harmony between body and mind. Ayurveda medicine to this day incorporates herbalism, aromatherapy, color and sound therapy as well as touch.
First mentioned in texts from China and Egypt around 2,500 BCE, Egypt is credited with the invention of reflexology. Chinese medicine, believing in the body’s ability to heal itself when energy flows harmoniously, used acupuncture alongside massage to heal people.
Massage therapy was introduced to Japan around 1,000 BCE by Buddhist monks studying in China.
Around 800-700 BCE, Greek athletes used muscle manipulation, herbs and oils to keep in peak condition.
In 500 BCE Hippocrates, he of the Hippocratic Oath, is credited with using friction therapy, combined with healthy diet, exercise, fresh air, rest and music to restore optimal health.
We don’t know much about the use of massage therapy between 500 BCE and 1600 CE.
In the US, the first mention of the profession dates back to 1700 CE. Those profesionals were called "rubbers".
Around 1850 medical gymnasts brought their style of body work to America. They used body manipulation developed by Pehr Henrich Ling from Sweden, who believed in the unity of body, mind and spirit and also insisted on the science behind it. This holistic and scientific approach laid the groundwork for what we call "massage therapy" today.
The terms "masseuse" and "masseur" were introduced by a European doctor called Johann Mezger, and became common in 1880. Mezger developed a way to manipulate soft tissue, referred to as "mechanotherapy". In 1900, the term "massage" referred to body manipulation following the teachings of Ling and Mezger. Massage and hydrotherapy were often combined, and the term "Spa" was coined.
The first full body massage was developed in the 19th century alongside the "Rest Cure", a cure for ladies from high society who were melancholy. They were put to bed, massaged, fed and had no other stimulation. We think that every body deserves that holistic and caring treatment now and again!
Nowadays massage therapy is accessible to everyone. Book yours today!