Massage is one of the oldest forms of health care. Certain ancient Egyptian tomb paintings show people receiving massages as well as ancient Indian and Chinese manuscripts.

The ancient Greeks and Romansalso used massage. The 16th century Doctor Ambroise Para praised massage as a treatment.

In WW1 soldiers who where suffering from shell shock were treated with massage. Massage therapy is finding its way into the health care system these days.

Massage has also been incorporated into several other therapies.

There are thousands of receptors in the dermis which react to external stimuli. Gentle massage may trigger the release of endorphins which induce a feeling of well being.

Stronger massage may ease stiff joints and improve mobility. While massage is not a cure it can lower the amount of stress hormones.

There is an extensive amount of research that supports the therapeutic claims of massage. When consulting a practitioner a special table or chair is used.

Generally most people undress for a massage but a towel is usually placed over you. There are many different forms of massage.

Remedial massage focuses on specific conditions such as muscle strain. Lymph massage aims to speed the removal of waste products by stimulating the lymphatic system.

Biodynamic massage aims to release emotions that have become trapped. Certain Eastern massage includes acupressure.

Talcum powder or light oil is used so the hands may gently glide over the skin. Essential oils may be added.

A full body massage generally lasts about one hour.

Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu Massage is a hands-on therapy technique originating in Japan. Shiatsu is an evolving form. Various styles incorporate (to differing degrees) aspects of Japanese massage traditions, Chinese Medicine practice, and “western” anatomy & physiology. Shiatsu, as well as Teate, originated in Japan. There were many hands-on therapies called Teate before traditional Chinese therapies such as Acupuncture and Tuina were introduced to Japan. The term shiatsu was first used in a book published in 1915, Tenpaku Temai’s Shiatsu Ryoho. Tokujiro Namikoshi founded the Japan Shiatsu College in 1940 and systematized a form of Shiatsu therapy based more on Western anatomy than traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. In Japan, Namikoshi’s system enjoys special legal status, and its adherants often credit him with the development of shiatsu sui generis; the story is told that at the age of seven, Tokujiro Namikoshi developed a technique of pressing using his thumbs and palms as he tried to nurse his mother who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Other styles of shiatsu exist; adherents of the Namikoshi system generally contend that these are derived from the work of Namikoshi, and refer to them as Derivative Shiatsu. For example, Tadashi Izawa established Meridian Shiatsu, incorporating Meridian Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine into his Shiatsu therapy. Shizuto Masunaga’s book, called Zen Shiatsu in English, popularized Zen (or Masunaga) Shiatsu in North America and Europe. Ryukyu Endo, a Buddhist priest, introduced Tao Shiatsu, which involves concentrating the mind and making supplications to the Buddha. Kiyoshi Ikenaga, in his book Tsubo Shiatsu, elucidates from an anatomical and physiological point of view, how meridian points (or Tsubo) are useful in Shiatsu Therapy.

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