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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fascinating and Informative

I find the history of Massage very fascinating and informative as massage actually began thousands of years ago, when ancient civilizations used massage for their healing therapies. As the years progressed, so did massage and each civilization used it in their own distinct manner.Massage used in the Spa modalities today has its own history

The word spa comes from the Latin language and means “sanitas per aqua”, which means “health through water.” Spa is also the name of a small village in Belgium where the hot mineral springs were discovered by the ancient Romans and used by their soldiers to treat the aching muscles and wounds from their battles. Although Romans were not the first to use social bathing, they were the ones that perfected it. Social bathing was used by many, including the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Minoans, and Greeks.

It is not known when the Romans first used the public bath, history states during the reign of Caesar Augustus, 27 B.C. to 14 A.D., approximately 170 baths were found throughout Rome. Primarily built as encampments or posts and used by the soldiers of Rome as a way to help ease the wounds from battle. Around 43 A.D., the Roman people began have a different view of baths and bathing. They started seeing the baths as a way of providing rest, relaxation, and solace to all people, not just the soldiers of war.

While Roman Empire grew, the number of public baths grew. By 300 A.D., there is said to have been over 900 baths throughout the empire. The oldest Roman bath or spa still exists today in Merano, Italy.

Spas were also found throughout Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and England in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance. Usually built where natural mineral springs or natural hot springs where the waters have been told to have healing effects on the sick.

Mohawk Indians used hot springs for their healing properties. The oldest spring known to have been used by the Mohawks is the Saratoga Hot Springs, meaning “the place of the medicine waters of the great spirit” in the native dialect.It was one of the first commercial spas in the New World. As America expanded westward, new mineral springs were discovered and developed and are very popular still today.

With history we find that water is widely used for healing, Many massage therapist use water treatments before, after or with the massage.

Hydrotherapy which refers to the medicinal use of water, including hot tubs, cold water treatments, ice packs, vapors, saunas, mineral springs, hot springs, sitz baths, wet towel applications, water exercises, and water massage. Hydrotherapy is the use of water to revitalize, maintain, and restore health. Hydrotherapy also supplies fresh nutrients and oxygen to injured tissue and helps with the removal of waste products. In injuries alternate applications of heat and cold accelerate healing by improving blood vessel integrity and muscle tone. Heat causes blood to come to the surface where as cold causes blood to constrict and drives blood inward. Water also has a soothing, calming, and relaxing effect on people, whether in a bath, shower, spray, or compress.

Watsu meaning "water shiatsu" is a massage treatment given submerged in warm chest deep water. In this therapy the massage therapist floats, stretches and massages the client which helps to open joints, improve mobility, and opens the energy pathways that promote healing.

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