Massage Facts
Massage Facts

38 Soothing Massage Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published November 19, 2020
  • Archaeologists discovered evidence that Tui na, a form of Chinese massage still widely used today, was being practiced as early as 2700 BCE.[10]
  • The first educational institution to offer a course on massage was the Royal Gymnastic Swedish Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, which added it to their curriculum in 1813.[6]
  • According to practitioners, shiatsu massages should always be given with the recipient lying on the floor rather than on a table or chair.[6]
  • Natural healers developed massage in India roughly 5,000 years ago[4]
  • The ancient Chinese method of massage is recorded in The Yellow Emperor's Classic Book of Internal Medicine, a book written over 4,500 years ago.[4]
  • Egyptian tomb paintings dating to 2500 BCE depict the use of massage therapy for healing.[4]
  • Shiatsu originated in 1000 BCE, when Buddhist monks from China introduced massage therapy to Japan.[4]
  • Hippocrates, known as the "father of medicine," taught a form of massage called "friction" for the treatment of injuries.[4]
  • Ashiatsu Massage
    Ashiatsu takes balance and poise on the part of the masseuse
  • Ashiatsu is a form of massage in which the therapist uses their bare feet to massage the client's back.[8]
  • Ancient Romans could purchase massages as part of the "spa" treatment offered at public baths.[4]
  • In 17th-century America, women who assisted surgeons by giving massages to patients were referred to as "rubbers."[4]
  • Many major airports around the world—including airports in Dubai, London, New York City, Amsterdam, and Vancouver—are home to spas that offer massage for weary travelers.[13]
  • There are a variety of different types of massage; the word itself refers to any pressing or rubbing of a person's skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.[14]
  • People with blood disorders or who take blood-thinning medication, are often advised not to receive massages, as it may result in adverse effects.[14]
  • Because of its effects on cortisol, a mood-influencing hormone, researchers have recently been studying the uses of massage for a range of mental health conditions.[3]
  • A 2016 study indicates that Swedish massage can have powerful positive effects on individuals with generalized anxiety disorder.[3]
  • Because Swedish massage, which is more gentle than deep tissue massage, is the most commonly used, it can sometimes be referred to as a "classic massage."[9]
  • Although rare, there have been enough reported cases of strokes triggered by massage treatments given at spas that the medical community has nicknamed it  "beauty parlor stroke syndrome."[7]
  • Studies show that breast cancer patients can experience reductions in depression and insomnia as a result of regular massage therapy.[3]
  • Foot Massage
    You are on them all day, after all
  • Foot massage therapy has been shown to help improve the mental health of older women with serious health problems.[3]
  • In 2018 in Louisiana, a massage therapist was murdered by a client who claimed she tried to steal his belongings—although text messages suggest the therapist never made it inside the client's house before he attacked her with a steel club.[5]
  • It has been estimated that there are currently over 360,000 massage therapists in the United States.[12]
  • Many states in America require massage therapists to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) in order to practice massage.[12]
  • Between the years 2005 and 2018 in the United States, massage therapy rose from being, at most, an $11 billion dollar industry to an $18 billion dollar industry.[1]
  • Massage has been found to be an effective treatment for people with anger and hostility issues.[3]
  • At least 48 million Americans received a massage between June 2018 and June 2019.[1]
  • If not done properly, shoulder and neck massages can cause the production of blood clots that can travel to the brain and trigger a stroke.[7]
  • Sports Massage
    Massage is most commonly sought after injury or to soothe pain
  • "Sports massage" is therapy that is specifically intended to prevent or treat sports-related injuries.[14]
  • Researchers have recently begun to discover several benefits of massage for people with autism spectrum disorder, including reductions in social and communication challenges.[11]
  • A massage can contribute to deeper and more restorative sleep, even when received several hours before going to bed.[15]
  • Masseuses gave the ancient Greek athletes who participated in the first Olympic Games free massages before and after each event.[2]
  • In the modern era, massage therapy was first offered to Olympic competitors at the summer games in Athens in 2004.[2]
  • Forty-three percent of Americans report getting a massage to help with pain management and other health issues, while only 29% say their massage was for relaxation.[8]
  • Massage has been shown to help with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.[8]
  • There are over 80 different types of massage being practiced throughout the world.[8]
  • Acupuncture, the use of needles to alleviate pressure, is considered to be a form of massage therapy.[8]
  • In cupping, massage therapists use suction cups to do deep tissue massage.[8]
  • Hot stone massages involve heating volcanic rocks to around 145 degrees Fahrenheit and placing them on the spine, chest, stomach, hands, feet, or face.[8]
  • Informative Massage INFOGRAPHIC
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