Therapeutic touch is one of the oldest healing arts practiced. According to research, most ancient cultures practiced some form of healing touch. Often a ceremonial leader, such as a healer, priest, or shaman was selected to perform the healing rituals. The art of massage was first mentioned in writing about 2000 B.C. Hippocrates was the first in Greek medicine to specifically describe the medical benefits of anointing and massage. Having strong roots in Chinese, Indian and Persian medicine, it has been written about extensively since about 500 B.C.. Egyptian, Persian, and Japanese historical medical literature are full of references to massage. The use of touch as a mode of healing is recorded in the writings of the Hebrew and Christian traditions.
The practice of massage and bodywork continued to evolve over time as it spread out to the East and the West, met with both resistance and acceptance, by the thinking of the day. With the development of conventional modern medicine, the benefits of therapeutic touch were lost or minimized. The most recent revival of massage began around 1960 with the humanistic movement and has continued as the recognition of chronic diseases that are resistant to surgical or drug treatment has increased. Therapeutic massage and bodywork is slowly reemerging, recognized as a form of manual (and energetic) medicine and having gained a professional status, with research continuing, and its benefits scientifically documented and more widely recognized.
(*The information above is borrowed from, Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage,)
A skilled bodywork practitioner can help the body relieve stress and tension and restore inner harmony.
The body is composed of a physical element, an emotional element, and an energetic element. Stress and trauma can occur in the body as a direct result of a physical disturbance such as inactivity, overuse, illness and injury, or can also originate in the emotional and energetic fields of thoughts and feelings as worry and stress. If left unchecked, the body can become overwhelmed and create stagnation or holding patterns within. Over time, the vigor of the individual may become compromised. This can lead to a body lacking in contentment, clarity, energy, and health, eventually manifesting as physical pain or illness, and in extreme cases may be found at the root of disease.
Therapeutic bodywork and massage support the body toward renewed health and have been proven to relieve stress, tension and pain, improve mood and awareness, restore physiologic harmony, and to facilitate the body’s healing process. The benefits of therapeutic bodywork and massage are most effective when received regularly to maintain wellness.