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Massage beginnings

Massage therapy practises throughout Europe and many other parts of the world use Swedish massage strokes as they are the foundation of many massage techniques.

Once comfortable on the therapist's couch, they will begin by applying gentle pressure to the surface of the muscles using their hands, forearms, and elbows. A Swedish massage performed correctly with ample pressure and heartfelt strokes can give a boost to blood circulation, enhance the body's lymphatic system by aiding in the removal of toxins, and manipulate knotted areas of muscle, which gives rise to increased range of motion and flexibility. As the tension is released from the body, so too does the mind let go of stress.

Origins of massage

As with many techniques of modern massage, they were developed in the early part of the 1900s. It has been a point of debate over the years as to who is the true inventor of massage. Many have been led to believe it was created by the physical therapist Per Henrik Ling (1776–1839). Upon further investigation into history, the facts present themselves that, indeed, a Dutch doctor, Johann Georg Mezger, was the creator and founder of the therapy.
Per Henrik Ling was a Swedish fencing instructor, and he ran the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Using his knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology, he developed a series of treatments. He is well known for being inventive in the medical field, and along with his expertise in physical therapy, he created Swedish gymnastics. He would apply these unique strokes in the areas where he suffered pain, as Ling was a sickly man suffering from rhumatism and gymnastics disease. This sparked an interest in learning more about the human body, so he began furthering his studies in anatomy and physiology. Later, this resulted in Swedish gymnastics.

In the treatment of illness, injury, and pain, Ling used his inventive exercises as a methodology for recovery. The Swedish Movement System, as Ling named it, was recognised as a type of holistic therapy that gave birth to Swedish massage as we know it today. Although he neither used, wrote, or discussed anything directly related to massage,

Johann Georg Mezger

Although he is a physical therapy specialist and professional gym instructor himself, many historians and massage experts believe that the techniques were invented by Dutch physician Johann Georg Mezger (1838–1909). Already being incredibly knowledgeable of human physiology, he proceeded to expand it further, so the talented gymnast started studying medicine at Leiden University in the Netherlands. At the same time, he performed French "friction methods" on patients suffering from minor sprains. He wrote about this method in his doctoral dissertation, which ultimately turned into the essence of Swedish massage.
Techniques from Peter Ling's Swedish Movement system were used, and details were added to the five basic Swedish massage techniques that now comprise modern Swedish massage.

The majority of Swedish Massage as we know it today was created by Mezger; however, because he primarily used the Swedish Movement system incorrectly, his invention is known to have been created by Peter Ling.

Mezgers Techniques

Swedish massage is created using five basic techniques defined by Mezger; he gave the techniques French names.

Mezger the inventor
It's clear that Ling contributed to modern physical therapy. As previously mentioned, a number of the techniques were given French names, whereas Ling's documents make no mention of French phrases. Furthermore, none of his writings claim his techniques are a form of massage. Mezger, who went on to distinguish between the discussed massage strokes and the techniques used in the Swedish Movement System.
It is intriguing to note that Swedish massage is only called as such in English and Dutch-speaking countries as well as Hungary. The rest of the globe, Sweden included, knows this type of massage as "classical massage."
Swedish massage is a combination of techniques that is unquestionably the most well-known and widely used method for relieving stress and pain in both the mind and the body.

The above information was compiled and rewritten from a number of history and well-being websites.

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