The History of Therapeutic Massage

, Health

The history of massage can be traced back to Chinese texts from 2700 BCE. “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine” was not published in English until 1949 but it is still a staple in massage training schools. Egypt created the science of reflexology first in 2500 BCE and it is part of holistic healing to this day.

Swedish doctor Per Henril Ling created the Swedish Movement System that is still known as the Swedish massage. He does, however, share partial credit with Dutchman Johan Georg Mezger who defined the hand strokes that are now used.

By the 1930’s massage parlors were a place of healing with a whole system of physiotherapy that included:

  • Soft tissue manipulation
  • Movements
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Electrotherapy or what we would call a TENS unit

In the 1950’s things got a bit confusing when massage parlors had a different agenda. When “massage parlor” became a euphemism for a house of ill repute it made it necessary to rebuild the image of massage parlors throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.

What is a therapeutic massage?

A therapeutic massage is all about healing. When you meet with your massage therapist you present a specific problem. There is a continuity of care with a massage therapist who deals in therapeutic massage because you are dealing with a specific area of concern. Carytown Massage has massage therapists that specialize in therapeutic massage and can provide you with the continuity necessary.

What can I expect from my first session?

You will tell your therapist your area of concern and then there is a four-part protocol that will be followed:

  • Assess the current situation– Medical history, discussion of the type and severity of pain you are having. An assessment of your movement will occur.
  • Create a treatment plan– Not all pain is created equal and neither should the approach to treating it be. There are many options such as a focused massage, a series of sessions, work to do at home, and in some cases, they may refer you to someone who is better suited to your specific issue.
  • Begin treatment- Whether it is a full body massage or a different treatment plan your massage therapist will perform the treatment at this time.
  • Evaluate the outcome– How your body reacted to the treatment can change the treatment plan. An increase in sessions, home heat or cooling sessions, or a change in the approach may be necessary. Of course, it could stay the same.

 Is this super complicated?

It does sound very intense and intimidating even but the evaluation and planning stage goes very quickly when dealing with a skilled practitioner.

It is worth noting that even if a treatment plan is over a long period of time you should have some relief after your first visit. You do have to keep going back as scheduled for it to be a truly effective and long lasting relief.

Is this the right treatment?

That depends entirely on you. When you contact us and describe what you are looking for in a massage they may recommend therapeutic massage. If what you want is a relaxation or deep tissue massage then you will not be pushed into anything you do not want to do. Comfort is what Carytown Massage, Richmond strives to provide, not anxiety.

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