The History Of Massage
There is not a large amount on the history of massage. According to the numerous scientific researches that have been conducted on the efficacy and importance of massage, it is indicated that deep tissue massage has been proven to provide individuals with a three-way positive effect. That is physical, mental, and aesthetic. As such, massage therapy is noted to provide the physical benefits of effectively loosening the tension in an individual’s muscles. Moreover, the practice also allows individuals to gain various mental and aesthetic benefits. This include providing relief from daily or accumulated stress, and the smoothing of scar tissue, respectively.
Despite the much-acclaimed benefits of deep tissue massage therapy, the available research on the history of massage, particularly that of deep tissue massage, has not been a subject of focus for many researchers. As such, it is the aim of this article to provide information related to the history of massage. In particular that related to deep tissue massage, as well as the advancements made in the techniques used during the practice.
The History of Deep Tissue Massage
The history of massage, in general, is noted to have begun more than 5,000 years ago. The initial use of touch as a means through which traditional healers could heal individuals dates back to ancient East and West civilizations, and was considered to be the most natural system of providing relief from pain, cure illness, and heal injuries. Although the general history of massage can be dated back over 5 centuries, deep tissue massage as a holistic treatment technique is has a historic evolution of approximately 200 years.
The Invention of Deep Tissue Massage- The Early 1800’s
Throughout the vast amount of information provided on the history of massage as a holistic treatment technique, deep tissue massage is noted to have evolved from the general styles and techniques that were used in early massage therapy. Throughout the first years of the 19th century, the revolutionary Swedish Gymnastic Movement System was developed by Per Henrik Ling, a general medical practitioner during the era. Dr. Ling’s system was characterized by the incorporation of physiology and medical gymnastics into general massage therapy techniques. His technique was aimed at treating an individual’s physical problems through manually pressing, striking, stroking, and squeezing of the ailing individual’s muscles.
Evolution of Deep Tissue Massage Therapy- 20th Century to Date
Therese Phimmer, a Canadian doctor, analyzed Dr. Ling’s massage technique in 1949 and created a book which stipulated new techniques and guidelines related to deep massage therapy. After her book titled “Muscles: Your Invisible Bonds” was published, the practice of deep tissue massage as a natural treatment for healing injuries begun to be utilized within the medical fields of sports and physical therapy.
Dr. Phimmer outlined the various intricacies of massage therapy by providing information on how her newly developed guidelines regarding the techniques used in deep tissue massage therapy would improve the results a patient could achieve. As such, her research recommended the use a medical practitioner’s hands, fingers and elbows to apply a combination of pressure and friction on a patient’s muscles. According to Dr. Phimmer’s research, her technique would work to separate and stretch out problematic muscle tissue by ensuring that the affected area would receive adequate blood circulation. Her new deep tissue massage therapy guidelines were thus implemented in the process of relieving any pain associated with whiplash, muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, muscle strain, and osteoarthritis that were associated with physical injury.
Based on her guidelines, deep tissue massage therapy has since evolved to efficiently disintegrate an individual’s muscle “knots” and tension in order to provide an ailing individual’s enhanced freedom of movement. To date, deep tissue massage therapy continues to be a key method of controlling as well as treating the chronic pain that patient’s experience following soft tissue injury.