The selective use of massages has had its origins most likely in the Eastern parts of Africa and in Asia (Egypt, China, Persia). The first mention appears with Huáng Dì, who described massage-techniques and gymnastic excercices as early as 2600 B.C. In conjunction with essential oils and herbs, there are also early mentions in the Indian Health teachings Ayurveda. Through the greek physician and “father of the Western Medicine”, Hippocrates (460-370 B.C. approx.), and his medical Teachings, the massage eventually found its way to Europe. There, they later played an essential role in rehabilitation of Gladiators of the Roman Empire. Hippocrates searched on and enlarged the secrets of massage and wrote down his findings and recommendations for its usage. The other important physician of the antics, the greek Galen (129-199) also researched on manual therapies and wrote numerous essays about the differnt forms he developped and for which affection they could be used.
The main indications for the classic massages are muscle hardenings, affections of the musculosceletal system, such as spinal syndroms or posttraumatic changes. For the successful betterment of chronic neck-pain, the frequency of massages seems to play a vital role.
Through reflex arcs the illness of an organ can display on the skin or in the muscles. Another domain for massages is neurology. Paresis, spasticity, neuralgia and disturbancies in sensibility are predestined areas for the use of massages. To this, one can add all the psychosomatic themes, mainly in the domain of heart and blood-circulation.