Massage is not just for the wealthy and pampered, that globe hop to choice health resorts. The very real health, wellness and relaxation benefits have been confirmed and are now being prescribed, by modern medical providers in America.
1. Massage is a Growing Profession
Professional, licensed or certified massage is a skill-set used by specialists to press, rub and manipulate bodies, on the soft tissue, of particularly the muscles, tendons and ligaments. A massage therapist may use hands, forearms, elbows and fingers to massage their patients. Massage ranges from light touch to a deep tissue force pressure.
There are also a lot of “specialty” massages. Hot stone massage is directly traced to the more ancient massage therapies. Thai massage involves walking on the person being massaged (pressure point) and chair massage is given while you are seated instead of on a table, on the neck, head and shoulders.
In 2013, as many as, 15% of Americans had a massage. It’s estimated over 35 million massages were given by professionals in, clinics, spas, businesses, malls and even at many airports took place.
In the last decade, an increasing, number of studies and clinical research projects have confirmed, the long suspected health benefits (rehabilitation, pain relief, stress reduction, sports medicine applications) to massage. The evidence continues to mount that “ancient” holistic and alternative medicine had the right idea. More physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors advocate massage in mainstream medicine.
Across the 50 states, a professional massage certification or license requires up to 1000 hours training, testing and ongoing education for re-certification. National certification requires 500 training hours to become a member of the American Massage Therapy Association.
At the same time the mind-body-spirit community is growing. From 2010 to 2014, the number of private clinics and spas that offer massage has almost doubled. Careers in massage therapy are on the upswing.
2. Massage is an Ancient Art
Massage dates back to ancient medicine practices in India, China, Egypt and the Roman Empire. Its’ healing properties were recorded in Chinese literature from 4,000 years ago. If you look at the historical record around the world, the practice of massage and manipulation (similar to chiropractor) has always been around.
3. Massage Got A Bad Reputation in the 1850’s
Massage developed in the East. Swedish massage was introduced to America in the 1850’s. During the next 50 years it became a more widely used.
It was practiced by American doctors (sometime as manipulation to readjust the bone structure). It also got a bad reputation in America’s boom towns when local madams advertised massage to try and pretend they were legitimate.
Before 1900, many American doctors were using ancient massage techniques in their practices. The first health massage clinic opened its doors to the public.
4. Massage is a Staple of Holistic Medicine
As the “peace and love” decade (1960’s) was digested by America a public awareness of holistic and alternative health remedies began to slowly make its way back into mainstream thinking and public consciousness, awareness of the health and well-being benefits of massage began to grow.
Licensed massage therapy became more professional and accepted by the public. With the advent of modern chiropractic and physical therapy practices, massage techniques were incorporated with medicine, as well as, a separate alternative and mind-body therapy.
By the mid 1990’s alternative therapies and ancient medicine techniques were being “rediscovered”. With the turn of the century, there was a revival. Massage therapy, was recognized as a treatment for relaxation and stress relief.
So whether you have a medical condition, chronic pain or desperately need to deal with the day-to-day stress of your life….remember that massage is a respected and ancient remedy. And it works!