A Brief History of Massage Therapy
The power of touch as a tool of healing has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Greek, Roman and Chinese cultures have all recorded the use of and benefits of massage, dating all the way back to 1000BC. It has been proven to encourage circulation, increase muscle flexibility, decrease stress levels and provide an overall sense of well-being. The science behind massage therapy has come a long way since Hippocrates (460-375 BC) noted its aid in healing dislocation injuries. It was after the First World War that massage therapy was introduced as a separate profession in North America. The Surgeon General of the United States introduced a program to help rehabilitate soldiers that were coming home from the war. It was in 1924 that massage was first legislated and controlled here in Canada with the Drugless Practitioner’s Act, which regulated the practice of massage therapy in Canada until the Regulated Health Professions Act of 1993. This new and improved act brought massage therapy under the same umbrella of standards as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, dentists, chiropractors and physiotherapists. The Canadian massage industry is working hard towards federal regulation to maintain a safe, ethical and fair system that will ensure the public and therapist safety and well-being. Until regulation is achieved, it is up to each individual practitioner to ensure they have received a 2200 hour diploma from a recognized school, and practice in a professional and ethical manner.
- Therapeutic/Deep Tissue: This style of massage offers manipulation of the soft tissues to increase or help aid in the repair of soft tissue imbalances. Clients will work with the therapist to assist in maintenance and proper homecare practices to achieve the agreed upon desired outcome.
- Sports Massage: For the athlete or active person looking to enhance performance or relax after a sporting event. This is a faster paced treatment with a focus on awakening muscle tissue and increase performance or alternatively, helping to flush out and improve the relaxation and healing of the body after an event.
- Trigger Point/Myofascial Release: Trigger points are hyperirritable spots found in taut bands of muscle. They have predictable referral patterns that a trained massage therapist is able to assist in removing through treatment. Myofascial release assists in loosening and realigning the body’s connective tissue. It is a slow technique practiced with patience and a knowledge of anatomy.
- Swedish Relaxation: This is a rhythmic, gentle massage with a focus on increasing client relaxation and an overall sense of well-being.