Massage is the systematic manipulation of soft tissues of the body to enhance health and healing.
Massage may be the oldest form of medical care. In writings of the ancient civilisations of Sumer, China, India, Greece (Hippocrates 460-377 B.C.) and Rome (Celsus 25 B.C-50 A.D. & Galen 129-199 A.D.) we find descriptions of highly developed forms of massage. It is believed that Julius Caesar was given a daily massage to treat neuralgia. In the 16th century Ambrose Pare, a French doctor, uses massage to aid post-surgical recovery.
"Swedish Massage" is now used to denote what we understand as classic western massage. It is a synthesis of techniques developed by two men; Pehr Henrik Ling, of Sweden and Johann Georg Mezger, of Holland. Ling's therapeutic gymnastics were integrated with Metzger's five passive massage movements by the late 19th century. Different massage techniques have since been developed and integrated into various complimentary therapies.