The word massage is most likely to have been derived from the Greek word "massein", meaning "to knead" or the Arabic word "massein" meaning to press slowly. Massage is the oldest form of physical medicine known to man and can be traced back to early Chinese medical manuscripts aroun 400 BC. Massage was advocated by Hippocrates, born in the fifth century - known as "the father of medicine." It was widely used and written of in Ancient Rome with records of how Julius Caesar received massage to relieve neuralgia.
Very little was recorded about massage in Europe between the Roman times and the Early Middle Ages, but by the 16th century medicine slowly started to re-learn what had been lost. Between 1776 and 1839, a Swedish professor, Peter Ling, created a scientific system of therapeutic massage known as the Swedish Massage and established a teaching institute in Stockholm.
Today, massage therapy is one of the fastest growing forces in the field of health care. Massage therapy includes a wide variety of therapeutic approaches through "hands on" manipulation of muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues of the body.