Massage was used by Indigenous healers going back to an unknown exact beginning point. Massage Therapy as it is today began, in the early 1800′s when Pehr Heinrich Ling brought knowledge back to Sweden from his experiences at university in Copenhagen with a Chinese fencing partner, “Mr. Ming”, who also practiced Martial Arts and a form of Chinese Massage Therapy called Tuina. Ling started his own practice and called it Medical Gymnastics and worked on athletes of his time. He became widely respected and got great results. His system of Medical Gymnastics was accepted by the Swedish General Medical Association in 1831. The technique was boiled down and recoined by Johan Georg Mezger as Swedish Massage and included some but not all of Lings techniques. He coined the terms for the five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Massage has been and integral part of Asian culture far longer than all of that.
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