History and Definitions

History

The word massage has evolved from several languages including Greek, Latin, Arabic and French where it means to knead, rub or touch.

The origins of massage can be traced back to China from 3000BCE where it was known as “amma” and used to promote and restore health and provide relaxation. Amma techniques were also used in Japan and evolved into Shiatsu – where pressure is applied to various points of the body in order to balance the body’s energy and promote good health. In India, massage has always been an integral component of traditional Ayurvedic medicine. These countries are renowned for their holistic, or whole body, mind and spirit approach to health and medicine. In the East, massage has always been more valued than in the West and its use has continued since earliest times.

Hippocrates, considered as the father of medicine, believed that doctors should be adept at using massage for healing. The Romans used massage to treat stiff and sore muscles and joints and for strengthening the constitution and improving circulation.

Modern Western massage is based on techniques developed by Swedish physiologist Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), which is where the term Swedish massage originates.
In recent years, due to an increased awareness of and interest in complementary therapies and alternative medicine, massage is now accepted as a reputable and recognised therapy. Massage benefits the whole body, both physiologically and psychologically, proving an effective and natural treatment.

Definitions

Shanti:

The sanskrit word shanti means peace. It is a common word used in buddhist mantras and closing of buddhist ceremonies and prayers.

Holistic:

Dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

The term “holistic” derives from the Greek word “holos” meaning whole. This means that a treatment that is holistic takes the whole person into account; body, mind and spirit. As these elements of the whole are closely linked, each will affect the other. The aim of a holistic treatment therefore is to create a sense of true harmony and balance across the physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional aspects of the individual.