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The healing technique of massage has been in use for thousands of years. People have long known that the hands can promote healing, relaxation, and rejuvenation and have used massage for a variety of purposes. Today, massage is recognized and respected as a holistic healing technique that holds many benefits for the body and mind.

The Beginnings of Massage

The first mentions of massage appear around the year 3,000 B.C. in India, where Ayurveda healing techniques utilized touch to heal the body and mind. Around this time, massage also began to emerge in Egypt and China. Egyptian healers developed reflexology, using pressure points on the feet and hands to affect the body. Chinese massage was based on the belief that touch helped to heal the body’s natural energy pathways. Visiting Chinese monks brought massage to Japan around the year 1,000 B.C.

Massage in Greece and Rome

Massage took root in Greece around 800 B.C., and was used primarily by athletes to keep their bodies in top condition. In 200 B.C., the Romans adopted massage therapy as a technique for both healing and maintaining the body. The Romans in particular also viewed massage as a way to indulge the body and mind.

Massage in Europe and the U.S.

After suffering a decline in popularity, massage returned to use around 1,600 A.D. as physicians rediscovered the benefits of massage therapy. Swedish massage was invented in the 1800s as part of a system for bodily wellness. Although massage remained a specialty for many years, it regained popularity in the second half of the 20th century, particularly in America. Today, massage is recognized as a beneficial form of mental and physical healing and is practiced across the United States and the rest of the world.

Reap the benefits of the ancient healing techniques of massage by scheduling an appointment at the West Garden Spa in NYC today. We offer a variety of massage therapies, including Swedish massage, Shiatsu, and deep tissue massage. Call 212.244.7711 for more information about our facilities and the healing benefits of massage therapy or to schedule your massage appointment. We are conveniently located in midtown Manhattan only minutes from Penn Station.