Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. It helps to ease stress and muscular tension, relieve pain from injuries, and speed healing from some acute and chronic conditions. Today millions of people worldwide go to massage therapists as a form of regular health-care maintenance.
The practice of massage has been used for thousands of years. As early as 2700 BC, the Chinese text The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine recommended that “breathing exercises, massage of the skin and flesh, and exercises of the hands and feet” be used to treat paralysis, chills, and fever. In 400 BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about the necessity for all physicians to use rubbing as a remedy, particularly to treat sports and war injuries. Ancient records from Japan also refer to massage therapy, and the technique is known to have been used by other cultures as well, including the Egyptians, Romans, and Arabs.