Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet, or a massage device. Massage can promote relaxation and well-being.
It is felt to encourage healing by promoting the flow of blood and lymph, relieving tension, stimulating nerves, and stretching and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic.
Various forms of massage were employed by the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, and Romans. However, the technique as we know it today didn't appear until the late 19th century when Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish gymnast, formulated the principles of Swedish massage.
Dozens of specialized massage techniques are in use today for the treatment of anxiety, tension, depression, insomnia, and stress, as well as back pain, headache, muscle pain, and some forms of chronic pain. Massage is also frequently used for the treatment of minor sports injuries and repetitive stress injuries, and for the enhancement of physical conditioning.
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Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on June 14, 2016.