Massage History

The word massage, derived from Greek, signifies kneading or pressing which consists basically of scientific manipulation of the tissues of the body. In Tibetan, Indian and Thai culture, massage is a major part of our lives. Children and newborn babies are massaged until they reach a particular age. Pregnant women are massaged gently and Increase pressure gradually after delivery to help the body flush out waste materials and maintain good health. Apart from the physical benefits of regular massage, the immune system of the body is stimulated and enhenced to fight against various diseases.

The history of massage dates back to several centuries before our time when healers worked miracles with their hands. During those days there were no machines or electrical equipments that help body feel great. So people used to transfer their own energy to the diseased person. The ultimate way for that were one’s own palms and foot.

Massage for healing had great importance in the ancient times. In those days science and technology were not very developed, but ancient Indian surgeons and physicians studied the art of massage from the famous books of Charaka. Ashtanga hridaya, and Shushruta. Ancient warriors and soldiers had to undergo massage during their training because massage helped them to fight against enemies and lead the war.

In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates wrote, “ the physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing, because rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and can loosen a joint that is too rigid.”

Pliny, a Roman naturalist, was massaged regularly to relieve his asthma. Julius Caesar was pinched all over his body to ease his neuralgia. He had intense pain along a nerve in his head because he suffered from epilepsy. During the middle ages, however, little was heard of massage in Europe.

The countries in the east, however, continued to combine their instinctive desire of using the concept of touch with skills refined and elaborated by tradition and practice. Tibetans and Indians in particular,use techniques preserved in Sanskrit texts, which date back to as far as 2500 B.C. these texts deal with the art of maintaining a perfect balance in the functions of the body.

Traditional Tibetan massage ancient Ku Nye

Ku Nye originated from the ancient kingdoms of Tibet over 3900 years ago and is a practice indigenous to the Tibetan Medical tradition. Earliest Tibetans practiced Ku Nye through the diagnosis and application of specific infused oil or substances extracted from butter to treat the person’s imbalance or constitution. Tree branches, sticks and stones were widely used as part of therapy to exert pressure on different parts and points of the body in order to restore the individual to a state of health and wellbeing.

Literally, Ku means ‘to apply’ or to anoint the body with therapeutic oils to be absorbed through the skin and Nye refers to the actual massage. Techniques of Nye include the kneading, rubbing and pressing of muscles and tendons and the application of pressure to various points and channels. Chi is the final part of Ku Nye therapy which involves cleaning the oils from the body using barley or chickpea powder. Other ingredients may be added to the base powders depending on the person’s diagnosed condition. Another common name for Ku Nye is Chukpa.

The rejuvenating and restorative benefits and functions of Ku Nye are mentioned in many original Tibetan texts including the Bum Shi, Gyud Shi and all its commentaries and Ton Huang medical text. Some of the benefits include the elimination of toxins which store in the body and increased vitality, the reduction and alleviation of various types of pain and pain syndromes, the calming of nervous disorders including insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Traditional Indian massage ancient ayurveda

Deriving from the oldest medical system in human history, Ayurveda redresses both physical and mental balance. In India, it’s country of origin, Ayurvedic massage is a ritual that hasn’t changed over the years: everyone, whatever their age or state of health, has it at least once a week to maintain their general well-being. Indian head massage is also a part of Ayurvedic massage.

Origins

Ayurvedic massage comes from Ayurveda traditional Indian medicine. Like yoga, meditation and natural products and plants, it is one of many techniques that make up Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old medicine still practised today and recognised by the World Health Organization.

Like traditional Tibetan medicine, Ayurveda believes that the body and mind are closely linked, and views them being at one. It believes there is a ’breath of life’, called Prâna that flows through our bodies, like an energy flow; when disturbed, particularly by stress or unhealthy habits, the body suffers from many problems (headaches, transit problems, pain, general malaise and poor health).

By applying pressure and other movements on certain parts of the body, massage aims to restore the flow of the ‘breath of life.’ A dozen types of massage exist and are specially chosen for each person’s needs. The most common is Abhyanga.

Traditional Thai massage ancient Nuad Boran

The founder of Thai massage and medicine is said to have been Shivago Komarpaj, who is said in the Pāli Buddhist canon to have been the Buddha’s physician over 2,500 years ago. He is noted in ancient documents for his extraordinary medical skills, his knowledge of herbal medicine, and for having treated important people of his day, including the Buddha himself.

“Thai massage” or “Thai yoga massage” is an ancient healing system combining acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures.

In the Thai language, it is usually called Nuat Phaen Thai according to the Traditional Thai Medical Professions Ac.


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