In this article, we take a look at several prominent figures in history who played a significant role in the development of Massage Therapy. Essentially, they promoted bodyrubs for health.
Here are a few of the individuals who made tremendous contributions to the world of massage therapy:
Hippocrates of Cos lived in Greece about four centuries before the birth of Jesus, and is referred to as the founder of modern healthcare. The ancient Greek physician recognized the benefits of massage and documented its use in medical practice.
Hippocrates believed that massage had two primary uses: strengthening or relaxing muscles.
Exercise was seen as having the same goals, so massage and exercise were intricately linked in Ancient Greece.
Hippocrates strongly supported the belief that “the physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing,” as he wrote.
Skill in massage, he believed, came not from book learning, but through extensive practice.
Personally, I can tell you this is the truth. I am a CMT and practiced for over 20 years. It takes time to learn how to massage a body properly.
It’s reassuring to know that a GREAT like Hippocrates was such a huge advocate of the important work of massage therapy.
Ling is credited as being the father of what we call ‘Swedish’ massage today, but that is not entirely true.
Ling’s life work was developing a series of gymnastic movements to help relieve chronic pain.
This is important work, but not exactly the use and development of massage therapy.
Like many massage therapists and body workers today, he used his own experience with pain and injury to create styles and techniques that formed the foundation of his practice. Which was primarily in the sport of gymnastics.
Nevertheless, Ling is mentioned here because he did have a strong influence in the field of physical therapy if not massage therapy per se.
3. **JOHANN GEORG MEZGER**
There is disagreement regarding the inventor of Swedish massage therapy. Mezger, however, based on historical facts, is the actual inventor of this technique.
So, once again, we have a doctor advocating for the use and benefits of massage therapy.
The brothers Taylor both became accomplished doctors.
Additionally, through their work and experience, they both became convinced of the benefits of hydropathy and massage therapy.
He was known for his practice of homeopathy and introducing Swedish massage to the United States.
The brothers founded the first massage school in the United States. They called it the Remedial Hygienic Institute located in New York City in 1856.
The Taylor’s work contributed greatly to the professionalization of massage therapy.
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Dyann Bridges xoxo
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