Historical evidence has led to indicate that massage was probably one of the earliest remedies for pain relief and for the restoration of the body. The roots of massage can be traced back to ancient civilizations where many artifacts have been found to support the belief that prehistoric people massaged their muscles and perhaps even used some form of oil. Early civilizations including ancient Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Hindu, Greek and Roman used some form of massage therapy treatment. With the decline of the Roman Empire, popularity of massage and health care in general also declined. The Renaissance period brought back the interest in health and science, and massage once again became common practice. In the following century, medical practitioners incorporated massage therapy into their healing treatments.
Early in the nineteenth century, Per Henrik Ling, a physiologist and fencing master, from Sweden developed systems of movements that he found to be beneficial in improving physical conditions. Based on the science of physiology, his movements became known as Medical Gymnastics. Ling established the Royal Swedish Central Institute of Gymnastics in 1813. Ling's Medical Gymnastics was taught in his new institute and became known as the Swedish Movements. Per Hendik Ling... [continues]
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