The practice of massage dates back to ancient times as one of the earliest forms of healing with origins in India, China, Japan, Egypt, Greece and Rome where it played an important role in the medical systems of these cultures.
Perhaps the most recognised modern pioneer of massage is the Swedish physician Per Henrik Ling who reintroduced massage into Europe in the Late 18th Century. He combined various techniques of the ancient cultures with those of his own to create what we now know as Swedish massage.
Massage began to be recognised all over Europe as an effective treatment for injuries and disease. In the late 1880’s it was popularised in the United Kingdom when Queen Victoria appointed a practitioner of Swedish massage to treat her rheumatic pains, to great effect. In 1914 the Military Massage Service was founded to help treat the wounded of the First World War. This service was offered in some 300 hospitals across the UK and was used again during the Second World War.
In modern society massage is popular not only for relaxation and stress-relief but also for the many health benefits it provides.