Brack Dutton, CMT

Massage Therapy, The Lost Art

Massage Therapy, when performed best, can be considered a functional art. After determining the clients needs, the therapist may combine their intentions & technique with music, temperature, or possibly aromas to create a symphony of emotionally relaxing moods. However, many stigmas are associated with Massage Therapy today.

Although some may think Massage Therapy was invented at a 'parlor' in close proximity to a truck stop near an interstate. In actuality, Massage therapy dates as far back as15,000 BC according to european cave renderings. The practice of massage therapy dates back as far as 3,000 BC in Asian societies. Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) used it to relieve Epilepsy. Hippocrates (460-375 BC), 'the father of Western medicine' & known philosopher, references the benefits of massage therapy in 'Corpus Hippocraticum'.

In the Middle ages, the Greeks, Romans, & Arabic societies became strong believers in the benefits of massage therapy.

in 1569 ,'De Arte Gymnastica', considered by many to be the 1st book in sports medicine, integrated massage therapy as an integral part of maintaining fitness. Pehr Lling (1776-1839), the father of swedish massage, taught massage techniques at the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics.

In more recent times, Bob Hope received a massage daily & Lance Armstrong has been a long time advocate of daily massage as a major component of recovery & injury prevention/treatment.

In today's society, Massage Therapy is generaly considered to be a luxury or alternative therapy. If you embrace the history of Massage Therapy, you will find it was a mainstream therapy. It was one of the earliest & most logical options to pain relief & overall wellbeing. By grasping the history of massage therapy & emphasizing public awareness, only then we can remove the stigmas many associate with our profession today.