History of Massage Therapy and Its Benefits

History of Massage Therapy

Did you know the English word “Massage” comes from the French? In Arabic, it is called “massa” meaning “to touch, feel”, or the Greek verb “μάσσω” meaning “to rub”. It doesn’t matter what word or language is used, massage therapy has been around for thousands of years and many countries are fully aware of the therapeutic benefits that massages provide.

History of Massage

Did you know massage therapy dates back to almost three thousand years ago? Around 15000 BC, the paintings of cave have some form of healing touch, but the origin of massage practices cannot be predicted with exact accuracy in any form of methodology. Literature, art and archeology showed that massage practices were present in many ancient cultures, such as India, China, Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire, Japan, Thailand and Korea.

History of this type of therapy goes back to almost 3000 BCE in India. Their massage therapy was basically taken as a way of natural healing process. It is then passed to new generations. They used massage therapy in healing of wounds, in order to relieve pain and to cure several diseases. First time massage therapy was mentioned in literature almost 2700 years ago in Chinese text. The teaching of that textbook is still used by some massage therapy institutes today. Massage therapy also appeared in Egypt almost 2500 BCE. Egyptians also have credit for discovering the different approaches in Reflexology. 

Healing Powers of Massage

Massage has a lot of healing powers. Massage helps in speedy recovery of patients from injury. Overall, massage helps in enhancement of blood circulation in body, it is also seen that massages can increase your oxygen flow rate in the cells of your body. It also helps in elongation of tight muscles. Massage helps in reducing stress and increasing flow of energy throughout the body. While individuals experience the euphoric feeling of pure relaxation and overall better state of mind.

Ancient Massage Therapy

The Evolution of Massage Therapy

David Plamer

Now let’s fast forward to the introduction of the chair massage, also known as the seated massage. For those of you who don’t know, a chair massage is exactly what it sounds like it’s a form of massage that takes place on a chair. This fully clothed massage was designed in such a way that it gives the therapist easy access to shoulders, head, spine, arms and hands of the individual sitting on it.

David Palmer is largely known as the founding father of chair massage. I can’t say for certain was the first person to perform a seated massage. However, I can say he played a big role in development in the chair massage industry. In 1968, Davide designed and created the first massage chair it was called “a chair in a box”. This chair was designed to be able to perform chair massages safely and effectively without the worry of having to hold the client up or falling to either side.

Benefits of Chair Massage

There are numerous advantages to getting a chair massage by a licensed professional. Although limited to the upper body, a chair massage offers many of the same benefits as a full body massage. It helps in reduction of the stress, with an increase in circulation of blood in the whole body. It also provides elongation of the muscles, allowing people to be move more freely and more agile with their body movements. There have been reports that regular chair massages can help boost the immune system, aid in pain relief and put people in a better mood.

One of the major benefits of a chair massage it the portability and the time it takes perform the massage. Unlike a full body massage that can take over an hour, a chair massage was designed to take less time. Most chair massage sessions last between 15 to 20 minutes. As mentioned earlier, the portability. You will see chair massages being performed in multiple locations, such as shopping malls, salons, health clubs, airports, and more.

I hope you enjoyed this brief history of massage therapy and the many benefits that are provided by the healing touches of a licensed professional. 

Picture Credits


Anthony Giambra
Massage therapy is not just my profession, it’s my passion. I love that I can bring the healing power of massage to you.