Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Task 6, Historical, cultural and philosophical approaches to massage

Task 6
Historical, cultural and philosophical approaches to massage

Through out this blog I will be discussing the comparison between eastern and western massage and how it has developed, the roles that certain people have had with the development of massage, the comparison of maori massage, the scandals that happened in the 1800’s, the development of professional massage in New Zealand, contemporary massage and how body, body-mind and body-mind-sprit relate to the historical and cultural context of the whole overall blog.

A comparison of the development of massage in the eastern and western tradition
Western massage is what we are learning; “it consist of Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Soft Tissue. These use stroking and kneading the skin and muscles for relaxation and pain relief” (Eastern and western views). Eastern massages include TuiNa , Shiatsu, Thai massage, and JinShinDo. The strokes used is “pressing of specific acupressure points, striking the body with the sides of the hands or with cupped palms, rocking the body, rolling the backs of the hands along the body, and many more varieties and sometimes quite vigorous” (Eastern and western views). How these two have developed is that western massage use to be for the wealthy and it was not in till the mid 20th century that eastern massages come into the picture and changed that all around. Eastern massage is becoming more popular every year as people are willing to give it ago to try and fix their problems (History of massage). Whether you use western or eastern massage they are both going to help, it just all depends what works better for that person.

The role of Hippocrates, Galen, Ling, Metzger, Kellogg, Vodder, Travell and Cyriax in the development of massage in the western tradition
The Greek physician, Hippocrates (460 to 377 B.C.) is known as the father of medicine. He changed the face of healthcare and paved the way to the scientific study of medicine (Hippocrates and Massage History). He stressed that massage needs to go towards the core or heart of the body. His technique changed they way massage had been practiced for many centuries.
Galen, “he wrote several medical and philosophical volumes and is considered one of the greatest medical historians and physicians of antiquity” (A Brief History of Massage). Galen was also first to relate massage with anatomy and physiology allowing better understanding of how the body moves and acts.
Massage went through a dark stage and it was not until Pehr Heinrick Ling come forward with his work done on gymnast that lead to the research done on soft tissue massage which is now Swedish massage. He is known as the “father of modern massage” (A Brief History of Massage).
Metzger, is a dutch woman who introduced the French terminology into massage, examples, effleurage, petrissage and tapotment (Salvo, pg 858). She also made massage part of physical treatment and rehabilitation.
Kellogg, was an American who wrote articles and books they related to the health concern of massage, he brought the issue to the general public (Salvo, pg 856).
Dr Vodder is the guy that developd Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) in the 1930’s, he was a Danish physiotherapist. Manual Lymphatic Drainage affects the nervous system; smooth muscle; it may have an effect on your immune system, although not proven (Manual lymph drainage).
“Dr. Janet Travell, the first woman ever to serve as White House Physician, takes a large portion of the credit for Trigger Point Therapy, the technique that helped JFK's back” (The Technique That Helped JFK's Back).

A comparison of maori massage (Mirimiri and Romiromi) with western massage
Traditional Maori Mirimiri Massage is a form remedial massage and stretching ideal for common backaches and strains, headache, stiff neck and shoulders.
Traditional Maori Romiromi is Massage Recommended for those looking for a more intense massage this treatment uses traditional Maori tools like ‘k- ohatu’ (stone) and ‘r- akau’ (stick) (Traditional treatments). Where traditional massage is often associated with shamanism, Holistic, Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual and incorporates remedies, manipulations, energy work and calling on spirits (D, McQuillan). The link with these types of massage is that they work with the bodies mind and sprit, allowing similar aspect to happen as a traditional massage or vise versa.

The massage scandals of the 1800s and their impact on the massage industry
“Near the turn of century in England, an arm of the British Medical Association uncovered incompetent massage techniques due to a poor system of education in the craft. In the worst case, they uncovered houses of prostitution--the birth of the massage parlor” (History of massage). After this all become public it did not help the massage industry. In 1943 the American Association of Masseurs and Masseuses was formed and is now the largest professional association for Massage professionals in the world. Also in this time there was a society of trained masseuses established. It required you to have academic pre-requisites for study. Training was done a school that was regularly checked, teacher had to be qualified and there were written and clinical examinations (D, McQuillan).

The development of professional massage in New Zealand including MINZI, NZA TEP, TMA and MNZ
The formation of MINZI was in 1985, by a guy named Bill Wareham. He called a meeting for all massage therapists in Auckland area and that is when they came up with the Massage Institute of New Zealand. Their focus was
Education of massage therapists
Standards of massage teachers
Annual conferences for skill development
(A history of massage in New Zealand)
The formation of NZATMP was in 1989 by Jim Sanford, as he saw a need for a professional association for therapeutic massage practitioners in New Zealand along the same lines as the physiotherapy board. From that the New Zealand Association of Therapeutic Massage Practitioners was formed. Their focus was
Educational standards
Promotion of a professional image within the massage industry
Dissemination of information
Increasing public recognition of massage
(A history of massage in New Zealand)
In the late 1990’s they changed the name to Therapeutic Massage Association (TMA). They had now been absorbed into NZQA’s massage unit standards and also moved away form the focus on educational development and are now focusing on
Supporting and representing the needs of the qualified therapist
Being a voice for the massage industry
Then in 2007 TMA & MINZI merged to become Massage New Zealand (MNZ). They have had their ups and downs but are on the right track now and it is said that massage is growing every year.

Contemporary massage
Contemporary Western massage, includes neuromuscular massage which is deep finger pressure applied to “trigger points” which acts on the interaction between nerves and muscles. Deep tissue massage is slow, deep strokes to release chronic muscle tension. Sports massage uses massage to prevent sports injuries and treat sprains and strains, and manual lymph drainage is used to stimulate the flow of lymph fluid (Contemporary Western massage).

A discussion of how the following philosophical approaches to massage (body, body-mind, body-mind-spirit) related to the historical and cultural context discussed
Body, in a massage content this is where treatment is focused on the body and on the affect of massage within the body and looking at how we can change the physiological affect of the body (D, McQuillan). How this relates to the historical and cultural is that I believe that it is what we do in the western type massage with deep tissue, sport massage and even relaxation, because through out these types of massage we are changing their body as we treat them.
Body-mind, “any therapy emphasizing the effects of consciousness solely within the individual body” (Dossey, 2000). How we think affects the way our body acts. This affects not only the therapist but also the client. How you come across when you first introduce your self to a client that you have never meet before and how your room is set out all plays a part in their expectation of you as a therapist. These aspects will not only show in body language but in the out come of the therapy given. This is related to historical and cultural mostly through the development of massage as I believe people are getting more judge-mental and to become a successful therapist you need your clients to trust you in what you are doing and have a welcoming environment allowing them to feel comfortable.
Body-mind-sprit, this is where the therapist intends on helping the client through feeling and touch. This approach is more like the eastern type massage where they use a lot of spiritual work on clients, through energy and enabling them to find them selves through out the treatment that is taking place. The mind is the director of this approach.

Over all I believe that to become a good therapist you need to do all of the above to ensure that your client is satisfied with the treatment given and they will return to you in the near future. Relating back to some of the things said in the other bullet points I am a firm believer that massage is taking off and it is still growing. Massage is something that majority of the population likes getting and that is what’s going to help massage become more acceptable among the public. History is some thing you can’t change so the things that happen back then I think are not going to have affect on massage in the coming future. It is what we do in our clinics and business that is going to help us become a successful therapist.

Class notes. (2009). Fundamentals of massage. Retrieved May, 21st, 2009, From David McQuillan class lecturer.

East and west healing arts institute, Inc. (2008). Eastern and western views. Retrieved 30th May 2009 from

East and west healing arts institute, Inc. (2008). History of massage. Retrieved 30th May 2009 from

Suite 101. (2006). Hippocrates and Massage History. Retrieved 30th May 2009, from

Integrative Touch and Bodywork. (2005). A Brief History of Massage. Retrieved 30th May 2009, from

Suite 101. (2006). Manual lymph drainage. Retrieved 30th May 2009, from

Trigger Point Therapy. The Technique That Helped JFK's Back. retrieved 30th May 2009, from
Le Spa. Traditional treatments. Retrieved 1st June 2009, from

Contemporary Massage and Wellness Center. (2008). History of massage. Retrieved 1st June 2009, from

Wiki educator. (2008). A history of massage in New Zealand. Retrieved 1st June 2009, from

Natural health New Zealand. (2005). Contemporary Western massage. Retrieved 1st June 2009, from

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