From Antiquity to Modern Times: A Comprehensive History of Massage Therapy

A full body massage in Las Vegas 

Massage therapy has been invented and reinvented numerous times throughout history. Cultures all over the world, from Mesopotamia to ancient China, independently found the many mental and physical health benefits of massage therapy. As science continues to discover the many ways massage therapy helps to heal the body and ease the mind, it seems clear that it’s one of the greatest gifts from ancient cultures to modern humans.

At Asian Massage 2 Hotels, we’re big proponents of adopting massage techniques and therapies from different cultures in our body massage services in Las Vegas. We know that the legacy of massage techniques developed for thousands of years can be found in China, Japan, and Korea today, and we bring these techniques to our clients in Las Vegas.

This is why our Asian massage service in Las Vegas employs therapists from different Asian cultures that add their unique elements to modern massage therapies. We have professionals from China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia available 24 hours for hotel room massage throughout Las Vegas.

In this article, we talk about how massage therapy has evolved from its ancient origin to the modern form that we know and love today. We will also discuss how our professionals at Asian Massage 2 Hotels give you the most luxurious, relaxing, and fun massages you’ll find in Las Vegas. 

Origins of Massage Therapy in Ancient Times

Ancient Egypt

The Tomb of Akmanthor is a historical pyramid structure in Saqqara, Egypt, believed to be constructed in 2330 BC. Commonly referred to as “The Tomb of the Physician,” the drawings on the pyramid show two people with their hands and feet massaged. If the drawings indeed depict a massage, this is the earliest known record of the use of massage as physical therapy. 

How We Adopt From This Today

Modern massage therapists are trained to work with all the different muscles in human hands and feet. Our body massage services in Las Vegas also include hands and feet massages that ease sore muscles and leave your hands and feet relaxed.

Ancient China

Huangdi Neijing is an ancient Chinese text that’s believed to be the easiest known compilation of Chinese medical wisdom. The text is treated as the foundation of ancient Chinese medicine today. The text discusses massage therapy as a treatment for various conditions. The text also explains specific techniques to be used for different conditions. 

Although this text dates back to somewhere between 722 to 481 AD, it contains knowledge from nearly two thousand years prior. Massage therapy may have been discovered in China even before its discovery in Egypt. The first known Chinese massage therapist was Bian Que from 700 BC, but there may have been many others before him. 

Regardless, China was the first civilization to establish a separate department for massage therapy in its Imperial Physicians office. 

Body massage services in session

How We Adopt From This Today

Chinese massages are among the most popular recreational services in Las Vegas today. At Asian Massage 2 Hotels, we have two professional massage therapists from China available for a range of Asian massage services in Las Vegas. Our other massage therapists have training in Chinese massage therapies and techniques. 

Many massage therapies and styles used today first originated in China. Whichever massage therapy you enjoy the most in Las Vegas, you have ancient Chinese physicians to thank for.

Ancient India and Thailand

Meditation and massage are two of the most popular ancient natural healing techniques today. These practices have scientific literature to back their physical and mental benefits, and history suggests a possible connection between the two. 

Gautama Buddha laid the foundation of yoga and meditation in 500 BC. His physician, Jīvaka Komarabhācca, is believed to be the founder of a certain style of massage that was in common practice in the region of Thailand. 

Even if this lacks proper evidence, meditation has contributed a lot to massage practices. Massage therapy was originally used in different cultures to ease physical pain. The influences of meditation and yoga have inspired modern massage therapists to focus on the mental benefits of massage therapy.

 Head statue of Buddha

How We Adopt From This Today

Mental relaxation is fundamental to our body massage services in Las Vegas today. Our massage therapists are trained to ease an overwhelmed mind. At Asian Massage 2 Hotels, we consider mental relaxation a part of our service. A full body massage from one of our massage therapists does help you physically, but it also helps you feel better mentally with meditation-inspired techniques.

Other Parts Of Asia

Other parts of Asia, such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, have surely contributed to modern massage therapy. However, not much evidence survives from massage therapy practices in these regions.

Still, cultural wisdom can survive and evolve as it’s transferred from mentors to pupils without being written on paper. This means massage therapy from these regions has many contributions to modern massage therapy methods, even if historians fail to recognize it.

How We Adopt From This Today

At Asian Massage 2 Hotels, we have massage therapists from China and Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. Each of our massage therapists brings their own style to massage therapy; you get a new exciting experience every time. We also offer Nuru massages which first originated in Japan. Nuru massage is now one of our most requested body massage services in Las Vegas.

Massage Therapy in The Middle Ages

Most of the major contributions to massage therapy were made in ancient times before modern history. However, massage therapy continued to gain popularity in the middle ages and spread to places far beyond its place of origin. 

One notable piece of evidence of the widespread popularity of massage therapy in the middle ages comes from Ibn Sina. Ibn Sina was a Persian medic who made countless contributions to medical science in an age when diseases were thought to be caused by demons. 

His book, which is translated to mean “The Canon of Medicine,” is now the most famous book in the history of medical science. The book describes many methods of relieving pain, including massage therapy.

Professional body massage services in Las Vegas 

Massage Therapy in Modern Times 

Massage therapy increased in popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries as the industrial revolution made communication and transportation easier and faster. It wasn’t until the 20th century that massage became a globally recognizable therapy for pain and relaxation.

A physician named George Taylor introduced massage therapy in the US. Massage therapy received a real boom in popularity in the 1970s when athletes started using it to ease pain and improve physical and mental performance before games. This was also when nurses started to use massage to ease patients’ suffering.

Today, massage therapy is a well-recognized medical and recreational practice in the US. Massage therapy has grown from a $5 billion industry in 2009 to an almost $16 billion industry, according to data from 2021.

Scientific History Of Massage Therapy

Almost all the contributions to massage therapy techniques come from ancient times. However, most scientific studies on the benefits of massage therapy were conducted in the 2010s. These studies have improved our understanding of massage therapy while offering new applications of body massage services. Here’s a summary of the scientific history of therapy.

Massage Therapy For Cardiac Surgery Patients

A study published in the Clinical Nurse Specialist Journal in 2007 suggested massage therapy to ease pain and anxiety in cardiac surgery patients. The study pointed out that patients undergoing lengthy surgical procedures often complain about pain in their backs, shoulders, and necks. The study provided an overview of the benefits of massage therapy for pain and anxiety.

Although this study only suggested applications for cardiac surgery patients, the study did a great job reporting evidence for massage therapy’s benefits. We also know from experience that massage therapy eases physical pain, stress, and anxiety. Many customers report feeling pain and anxiety-free after our body massage services. This study only confirms our beliefs.

A massage in session

Physical Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has been widely used in the West to ease pain after exercise since the 1970s. One study published in the journal Science in 2012 looked at how therapy affects muscle swelling. Swelling is caused by inflammation, which is triggered by different cytokines produced by the body. Temporary inflammation appears to be good for physical health. However, long-term inflammation from physical and mental stress is associated with many degenerative diseases.

The study found that massage therapy blocks the production of three different cytokines that cause inflammation. This eases swelling and allows the muscles to recover faster after an exercise.

At Asian Massage 2 Hotels, we offer full body massages to help people who may be tired from work or partying in Las Vegas for hours. Our deep tissue massage eases swelling and inflammation, so you’re ready to get back out there in no time. 

Massage Therapy, Oxytocin, and Adrenocorticotropin Hormone

Cultures have been aware of the pain-relieving effects of massage therapy for thousands of years. A study published in December 2012 explained how it works

Oxytocin is a hormone associated with the positive emotions of social bonding. It’s responsible for the warm and exciting emotions you get when you’re with someone you like hanging out with. Oxytocin is also negatively associated with anxiety, stress, and depression. On the other hand, adrenocorticotropin hormone is a sign of biological stress. 

The study showed that massage therapy increases oxytocin and reduces the adrenocorticotropin hormone. The increase in oxytocin is likely the primary mechanism through which massage therapy improves the experience of pain.

We’re well aware of the effects of massage therapy on mood and how it improves pain. When you’re in a bad mood—say after a fight with a friend—it worsens the experience of pain. Getting a full body massage from an experienced professional in Las Vegas can prove immensely helpful.

An Asian massage services professional in Las Vegas 

Massage Therapy For Tight Muscles

When you injure or overuse a muscle group, such as by walking too much, your muscle fibers can tighten up and cause pain. This type of pain is called myofascial pain syndrome. A study published in 2013 reviewed different treatment options for myofascial pain syndrome. The study found that deep pressure massage can help this type of pain. The study also showed that massage reduces the activation of pain receptors in different muscle groups, including your back.

If you get back pain after walking or standing for too long, body massage services in Las Vegas can help. You can ask a massage professional from Asian Massage 2 Hotels to focus more on a certain area so you can enjoy the rest of your stay pain-free.

Massage Therapy For Joint Pain

Around 22% of adults in the US suffer from arthritis. Joint pain from arthritis can make it harder to have fun while you’re staying in Las Vegas. A study published in 2017 suggested that massage therapy may be even better for arthritis than nonactive therapies. More evidence is needed to confirm this, but massage therapy can certainly help the experience of pain in all the other ways we discussed.

Call Body Massage Services Las Vegas 

Asian Massage 2 Hotels offers a range of Asian massage services in Las Vegas that are sure to leave to relaxed and satisfied. Our Nuru massage, full body massage, and 4 hands massage are also some of the most popular body massage services throughout Las Vegas. 

Want to make your day in Las Vegas even better? Call a hotel room massage in Las Vegas now!


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