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Massage - its history and types

Massage is a physiotherapeutic procedure during which tissues are elastically deformed. It involves the therapist applying mechanical stimuli to the tissues of the patient's body. It can have a relaxing, anti-edematous, preventive or stimulating effect. A therapeutic massage, on the other hand, is a type of massage that contributes to improving the patient's health. It is used in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of orthopaedic, neurological, gynaecological, paediatric and internal diseases.

History of massage

Massage is one of the oldest known treatments. It originated in China, where it was mentioned as early as 3000 BC in the Chinese work Kung-Fu. However, it is only in the Vedas, books dating back to 1800 BC, that the Hindus give precise instructions for performing massage. References to this type of treatment are also made in the works of Hippocrates, Celsus and Galen. In Greece, massage was mainly used by athletes participating in the Olympic Games. In the Roman baths, on the other hand, massage was one of the most popular treatments, and rich patricians had slaves trained in it. It was also used by Julius Caesar, who suffered from sciatica.

In Poland, steam baths existed until the mid-14th century, where, after bathing, people were subjected to patting with rods to improve blood circulation in the body. However, due to the halt in the development of science and medicine in the Middle Ages, no one bothered to develop massage techniques, and knowledge of it survived only in the Islamic world.

Massage began to be used again as a therapeutic method in France by the surgeon Ambrose Pare in the 16th century. However, it was not until the 19th century that it was developed by Swedish doctors. The founder of scientific massage was the Dutch physician Johan Mezger, whose pupil was a Pole and professor at Berlin University, Izydor Zabłudowski.
However, in fact, the benefits of massage have been recognised more recently and it has become an extremely popular treatment.

Istnieje wiele sposobów wykonywania masażu.

Massage and its types

There are dozens of types of massage, both general and specialised. Each is performed differently by the massage therapist using different techniques and means. The most popular of these are:

Classical massage

It is the most well-known type of massage in Europe and is performed to relax muscles, improve blood circulation and speed up the removal of waste products. There are more than a dozen massage techniques, such as stroking, rubbing, kneading, applying pressure, patting and rolling.

Therapeutic massage

It is used in physiotherapy and is used to reduce the symptoms of diseases and injuries, especially of the musculoskeletal system, muscle contractures, joint and muscle problems.

Sports massage

It helps to keep the patient's body fit and functional, prevent injury and trauma, and improve sports performance. It is similar to classical massage, using a faster pace and greater force.

Relaxation massage

This type of massage is ideal for reducing muscle tension and allowing you to relax. It has a relaxing, energising, stress-reducing and balancing effect on the body. It is applied with natural essential oils.

Thai massage

It combines the benefits of acupressure of the body's major points with stretching and reflexology and elements of passive yoga. It balances the body's internal energy by means of pressure on specific points. It also reduces stress levels, improves flexibility and range of movement and combats pain or fatigue.

Lomi Lomi Massage

The masseur performs it by rolling bamboo sticks over the body with warm oil and sound. It influences relaxation and improves circulation, as well as stabilising the nervous system.

Deep tissue massage

It targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The pressure in it is guided at a 45-degree angle, which allows the massaged tissue to be stretched.

Shiatsu massage

This is a Japanese massage that uses finger pressure on the relevant meridians. It removes accumulated tension in the body, regulates metabolic processes and improves health.

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