Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques to aid in the muscle healing process, improve bodily systems and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage "friction or kneading".
Massage involves working on the body with pressure - light, medium or deep. The target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, forearms and elbows using oil, cream, wax or talc.
In professional settings massage involves the client being treated while lying on a massage table or sitting in a massage chair. Swedish massage can help many different ailments and is the basis for the advanced massage techniques found in Aromatherapy, Sports Massage and Indian Head Massage. It has so many benefits e.g. releases tension and stress in the muscles, improves posture, increases the circulation for the blood and lymphatic system, improves the immune system, relaxes and rejuvenates, tones the skin, can offer some pain relief.
AD 1813 The Royal Gymnastic Central Institute for the training of gymnastic instructors was opened in Stockholm, Sweden, with Pehr Henrik Ling appointed as principal. Ling developed what he called the "Swedish Movement Cure" with the help of a friend named Ming (full name never recorded) who was an expert in the martial arts and Kung-Fu based Tui na massage. Ling died in 1839. 1878: Dutch massage practitioner Johan Georg Mezger takes a sub-set of techniques from Dr. Ling's system, and coins the phrase "Swedish massage system". Notably, Ling's techniques, having been borrowed by Mezger, are still known by their French names effleurage (long, gliding strokes), petrissage (lifting and kneading the muscles), friction (firm, deep, circular rubbing movements), tapotement (brisk tapping or percussive movements), and vibration (rapidly shaking or vibrating specific muscles).