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Origins and Priniciples of Massage
Transcript of Origins and Priniciples of Massage
Massage therapy is based on our instinct to rub areas that hurt. We rub our belly when our stomach aches, parents rub their children when they hurt themselves as well as rocking infants and rubbing babies backs when they cry.
The word 'massage' comes from the Arabic root "mass'h"
which means to touch, knead or squeeze
Hippocrates of Cos, known as the father of medicine (460-380BC) defined medicine as the 'art of rubbing' and wrote in his memoirs "The physician must be experienced in many things...For rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too rigid" (Tedy, 2005)
The Romans built further on the knowledge of the Greeks, resulting in the teachings of Galen (130-210AD) who wrote numerous medical texts and is considered one of the greatest medical historians and physicians of antiquity
Antiquity - Any period before the Middle Ages (476-1453) but still within the period of Western civilisation based human history (Crowson, 2013)
Origins and Principles of Massage and Complementary Therapy
Prior to Galen's appointment as physician
to the Emperor in the first century, he developed a complete regimen of treatment
for gladiators involving massage techniques
for both injury and disease and generally became the innovator of Sports and
During the Dark Ages conservative and repressive religious dogma considered acts involving physical contact that were pleasurable to be sinful and unacceptable. At this point Europe disregarded the teachings of both Hippocrates and Galen.
The Dark Ages refers specifically to years 476-800 when there was no Holy Roman emperor, can refer to more generally the period from roughly years 500-1000 where there was much strife and frequent warfare resulting in almost the complete disappearance of urban life. (Britannica Encyclopaedia, 2014)
During this time in the East, Japanese Buddhist Monks witnessed Tui-Na massage used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They then incorporated Japanese acupressure to the massage technique and created what became known as Anma which was then recognised in the first law of medical policy passed in the Nara period (701-793AD) (Donoyama, 2004)
In Sweden Pehr Heinrich Ling's work with gymnasts led to research and development of soft tissue manipulation known as Swedish Massage in 1813. Ling became known as the 'father of modern massage' and his techniques still form the base of massage therapies today. (Holistic Living, 2011)
Although nurses were being encouraged to train in massage, it was becoming synonymous with prostitution and the ever increasing 'massage parlours' so in 1894 a small group of women founded the 'Society of the Trained Masseuse' as an endeavour to establish massage as a reputable profession with a strict code of practice. (Holistic Living, 2011)
Shortly after the First World War Sigmund Freud was using massage to calm and relax his patients prior to psychoanalysis, an idea which was later built upon by one of his students, Austrian physician Wilhelm Reich. Reich began studying the muscular state of his patients stating that 'muscular tension blocked the expression of self'. This resulted in the theory that the same act of unblocking muscular tension with massage could be used to help disperse psychological tension. (Parsons, 2004)
In 1919 Tamai Tempaku published a book called Shiatsu Ho ‘Finger Pressure Therapy’ following his study of both traditional oriental and western medicine. The combining of these medical practices was revolutionary at the time and he is known as the founder of the Shiatsu School of Bodywork.
During World War II and post war occupation of Japan all traditional medicine was banned, this was short lived however and the ban was lifted following a mass public outcry and by the 1950's Shiatsu was recognised as a form of medical treatment by the Japanese Government.
In 1897 Axel Grafstrom published
A Text-book of Mechano-Therapy (Massage and Medical Gymnastics)
based on the techniques implimented by the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute in Sweden.
In 1899 Sir William Bennett opened a massage department at St George's Hospital in London. In 1910 he published a book entitled
Lectures on the the Use of Massage.
Manual Theraputics: A Treatise on Massage
was published in 1902, written by Douglas Graham, which detailed the use of massage in different cultures across the world, and throughout history.
The Swedish Institute is founded in 1916, the first and largest massage school ever in America
In 1939 The Florida State Massage Therapy Association is founded and later in 1943 Florida becomes the first state to enact standards to regulate massage training and practice.
Complementary medicine is a method of health care that combines the therapies and philosophies of conventional medicine with those of alternative medicines, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine. (The Free Dictionary, 2014)
Complementary medicine involves treatments that can be used along side conventional medicine to help alleviate symptoms of a medical condition as opposed to being a replacement for conventional treatment. (NHS UK, 2012)
Alternative medicine is described as a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine, that do not follow generally accepted medical methods and may not have a scientific explanation for their effectiveness. (The Free Dictionary, 2014)
Generally treatments with the intention of curing a health condition that are used in lieu of conventional treatment are referred to as alternative medicine
Allopathic medicine is a system of medical practice that aims to combat disease by use of remedies (as drugs or surgery) producing effects different from or incompatible with those produced by the disease being treated. (Merriam-Webster, 2014)
The term was created in 1810 by Samuel Hahnemann, the creator of homeopathy, and has been adopted by complementary and alternative medicine practitioners to generally refer to the category of medical practice sometimes called Western or modern medicine as used by G.Ps. (Encyclopaedia:The Free Dictionary,2014)
Allopathy is a biologically based approach to healing, building on Hippocrates' belief that symptoms and illnesses should be treated on a case-by-case basis as opposed to the approach of having a blanket treatment for disease as was custom during his time. In 1848 allopathic practitioners created the American Medical Association (AMA) and allopathic medicine became dominant, largely bolstered by the rapid growth of the pharmaceutical industry and successful scientific development of antibiotics and vaccines. (New Medicine, 2005)
As with all medical professions, complementary and alternative therapy have their own governing bodies, associations and organisations to regulate the therapists registered with them. The main purpose of regulation is to protect the public from unqualified or inadequately trained practitioners. It allows the public to know where to find a practitioner and instils confidence that they are insured and well trained. Effective regulation is considered fundamental in the development of all healthcare professions.
The House of Lords states that the purpose and
importance of industry regulation is:
"To establish a nationwide, professionally determined and independent standard of training, conduct and competence for each profession for the protection of the public and the guidance of employers. To underpin the personal accountability of practitioners for maintaining safe and effective practice and to include effective measures to deal with individuals whose continuing practice presents an unacceptable risk to the public or otherwise renders them unfit to be a registered member of the profession" (Budd & Mills, 2000)
There are many principles and standards that have been set by the government for regulatory bodies in the healthcare field including but not limited to:
They are accountable to the public and Parliament for their actions and performance
They should produce clearly stated standards for professional education and training by which the providers of education and training can be monitored and held to account.
Should work in partnership with the NHS and with other organisations that provide or manage healthcare, thus enabling NHS organisations to achieve high standards of quality care for all those for whom the NHS is responsible.
There are many varying careers pathways and additional training available within the complementary and alternative therapy field, many of which involve training in further therapies to enhance the knowledge base. As the majority of therapists are self employed and run their own clinic, be it mobile, from home or renting a room, having a qualification in numerous therapies can be beneficial to have a wider ranged client base. (Anon,
For example, many massage therapists undergo further training in aromatherapy, indian head massage, reiki or reflexology.
With regards to career progression many therapists run their own practice but that is not the only option available upon completion of education in complementary therapy. Depending on the therapies offered, there can be the option of working out of a GP surgery, in osteopath/acupuncture clinics or within the beauty industry either in salons or on cruise ships. There are even opportunities to work within the NHS in hospitals or specific clinics such as the Velindre Centre in Cardiff which is a purely complementary therapies for oncology (cancer) centre which also provides specialist training in oncology for experienced therapists. (Velindre Centre, 2013) (NHS Careers, 2013)
Market research completed in Complementary medicine in the UK in 2009 showed that in the previous year 12 million adults used complementary medicine or therapy, and although the majority were women, men were the most open minded about trying complementary therapies within the coming year.
This research also showed that recent (2008) legislative changes lend credibility to the industry and make it more recognised as a discipline within healthcare.
Although the current economy is the worst the world has seen since the Great Depression in 1929 (Ferrara, P, 2013) and many businesses are struggling to keep afloat, there is speculation that the poor performance of the economy could boost the complementary therapy market as stress related illnesses increase. (Mintel, 2009)
Bibliography and Citations
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Narvaez, Tedy. (2005). A Brief History of Massage. Available: http://itandb.com/history.htm. Last accessed 16th Dec 2013.
New Medicine. (2005). allopathic medicine emerges as the primary western medical model. Available: http://www.thenewmedicine.org/timeline/allopathy.html. Last accessed 20/12/2013.
NHS Careers. (). Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Available: http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/wider-healthcare-team/careers-in-the-wider-healthcare-team/clinical-support-staff/complementary-and-alternative-medicine-(cam)/ . Last accessed 18/12/2013.
NHS UK. (2012). All about complementary and alternative medicine.Available: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/complementary-alternative-medicine/Pages/complementary-alternative-medicines.aspx . Last accessed 18/12/2013.
Parsons, T. (2004). Historical Origins of Massage. In: An Holistic Guide to Massage. London: Thomson Learning. pg 15.
Velindre Centre http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/home.cfm?orgid=357
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