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Jessica Gray, L.M.P.

The Center For Total Body Awareness, L.L.C.

Why Massage?
About The Therapist
History Of Massage
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Massage can provide us with a means to counteract the relentless surge of work and domestic pressures.  For all too many of us, stiffness and pain are a way of life to which we have become habituated, and it is often not until we give or receive massage that we realize that our muscles are tight, or come to see how much of our energy is consumed by tension.  Massage can be a voyage of self-discovery, revealing how it feels to be more relaxed and in tune with ourselves, to experience the pleasure of a body that can breathe, stand and move freely.

For thousands of years some form of massage or laying on of hands has been used to heal and soothe the sick.  To the ancient Greek and Roman physicians, massage was one of the principal means of healing and relieving pain.  In the early fifth century BC, Hippocrates –the “father of modern medicine” – wrote: “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing…for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid.”  Pliny, the renowned Roman naturalist, was regularly rubbed to relieve his asthma, and Julius Caesar, who suffered from epilepsy, was daily pinched all over, to ease his neuralgia and headaches.

During the middle ages, in Europe, little was heard of massage, due to the contempt for the pleasures of the flesh.  But it was revived in the sixteenth century, mainly through the work of a French doctor, Ambroise Paré.  Then, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, a Swede by the name of Pehr Henrik Ling developed what is known as Swedish massage, synthesizing his system from his knowledge of gymnastics and physiology and from Chinese, Egyptian, Greek and Roman techniques.  In 1813, the first college offering massage as a part of the curriculum was established in Stockholm and from then on institutes and spas that included massage sprang up all over the continent.  Today, the therapeutic value of massage has once more been recognized, and it continues to flourish and develop throughout the Western world, both among lay practitioners and professionals.