Tuesday, June 16, 2009

History of Massage

Historical, cultural and philosophical approaches to massage

Throughout this essay I will be discussing the development of massage considering the historical and cultural aspects. I will be taking into account the eastern and western development, the impact of the massage scandal as well as the development of professional massage practice in New Zealand. I will also discuss the philosophical approaches to massage practice.

The development of Eastern and Western traditions.
Through this topic I have learnt the Eastern traditions were based around the energy systems of the body. Massaging the lines that are believed to carry the energy around the body, 12 major and heaps of minor lines. The Eastern traditions very rarely used oils as majority of their work was done with compression, stretching and stroking techniques. Where Western traditions were based on the physiology, which is based largely on Swedish massage which deals with deep tissue and soft tissues massage. Western traditions use oils as it has five basic strokes which are effleurage, petrissage, percussion, friction and vibration which is mostly gliding over the body.

The role of Hippocrates, Galen, Ling, Metzger, Kellogg, Vodder, Travell & Cyriax in the development of massage in the western tradition.

Hippocrates (460- 377b.c) was a Greek physician that was known as “the father of medicine”. He described and recorded medical techniques and practices including some massage strokes.
Galen (130- 201a.d) was a roman physician who became a follower of Hippocrates techniques. He then started to write a more advanced writing of Hippocrates. He was the first to relate anatomy with physiology.
Ling (1776- 1839) a Swedish physiologist and gymnastics instructor, he blended massage with physiology and used his physiological principles to explain exercise and massage and hoe they effect on the body.
Metzger (1839- 1909) was a Dutch physician, who brought massage to the scientific community.
Kellogg (1852-1943) was a physician and a food pioneer who wrote numerous books and articles on massage.
Vodder(1930’s) was a Danish physiotherapist, who develop Manual Lymph Drainage.
Travell (1896 - 1986) who developed and found trigger point therapy.
Cyriax (1904 - 1985) focused on range of motion and developed the clinical reasoning and treatment strategies

The comparison of Maori massage (miri miri & romi romi) with western massage

Miri miri the healing process of all four dimensions (muru 2008)
Family health, Physical health, Mental health and Spiritual health and is believed that if one is missing and or damaged in some way the person can then become unbalanced or unwell. They perform things such as energy balancing, therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage and relaxation massage.
Romi romi is the use of elbows, hands, knees, feet, sticks/ wood, stones and seawater to do deep tissue body work (McQuillan, D, 2009).

The massage scandals of the 1800s and their impact on the massage industry.
The massage scandal of the 1800’s increased the popularity of massage in the UK, it saw many stalls being set up and therapists flooded in with the demand. But this all occurred because of false advertisement especially in the poor communities. As schools were advertising that they would make amazing money and that the need of therapists was high. The schools for massage put their costs up and telling people that they could pay for them after they had finished their course but this was incorrect. Even though they could pay off their fees when they had finished there was no need for therapists as there was already too many and this is when they were left with large dept which you had to pay off by working the school clinics or some people went to prostitution and this is when massage became associated with prostitution, which reduced the reputation of massage.
This is when 8 women stood in and established the society of trained masseuses (1894) where they recognized the need for standards which were that teachers who teach massage have to be qualified themselves, have written and clinical assessments, training could only be taught in approved schools and academic pre requisites before you could study.

The development of professional massage in New Zealand.
MINZI (massage institute of New Zealand) was established in 1985. Which focused on the education of massage therapists, the standards of massage teachers and annual conferences for skill development. Then along came NZATMP which was established in 1989, which focused on educational standards. The promotion of professionalism within the massage industry. Dissemination of information and increasing public recognition of massage practice. Then it was TMA (therapeutic massage association)which was established in the late 1990’s which introduced NZQA unit standards and they also supported and represented the needs of qualified massage therapists and being the voice of the massage industry, and then MINZI and TMA merged together to make MNZ (massage new Zealand). This has heightened the opportunities out there for future massage therapists and made it recognized as another healthcare provider for the community.

Contemporary massage
Contemporary massage is based on Swedish massage which including trigger-point release, myofascial release, and Lymphatic Drainage. It has developed so much since when it first started and is developing all the time to be better and has a great future ahead.

A discussion of how the following philosophical approaches to massage (body, body mind, and body-mind-spirit) relate to the historical and cultural contexts discussed.
The body approach focuses on how the body is affected by massage which is to do with the links to the physiological approach.
Body-mind approach is on how the massage affects the client mentally (how they think) and on the body.
Body-mind-spirit approach deals with everything in the body-mind approach but also deals with a spiritual side of things as well. All of these three dimensions are joined together in some way.

In conclusion massage has been passed down through out time and has been critiqued to be what it is today whether it is eastern or western massage they all help the body in some way or form. In has developed into a form of medical care and I think it will be round for a very long time and will get better and better as the years go on. The history of massage has dealt with scandals and has still been able to rise above this. People have worked together to make this amazing thing and made it easy for people to access it. I believe massage will keep on rising in popularity as well as being a health care provider.

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