[The history of massage in the ways of life and healing in India][Article in German]

Author: Hentschel HD//Schneider J
Conference/Journal: Wurzbg Medizinhist Mitt
Date published: 2004
Other: Volume ID: 23 , Pages: 179-203 , Word Count: 259

The use of massage in India can be accounted for back to the time of the first indo-aryan settlements; its is however, likely that massage was already in use during the preceding era of the Indus valley culture.The important cultural function of the ancient practice of home massage can be seen in that massage was often linked to social, religious or ritual customs. Massage was considered to be beneficial to health. The classic Ayurveda texts mention massage in this sense and recommend it as an almost indispensible healing factor. To this day, massage is regularly used in India for the promotion of general health and fitness as well as in treating minor health problems. Ayurvedic doctors also employ massage as a complete therapy to be applied systematically in the treatment of serious illness.Massage is most commonly applied to the entire body or individual body parts with the aid of ample amounts of warmed oils and, at times, other substances which are specific to the patient's constitution. The usual massage method is similar in some ways to the western method. The Ayurveda system, moreover, has a wide range of special massage methods which are used to treat particular illnesses.While today the efficacy and effect of western massage is, in large part, accounted for scientifically, in India, common, traditional massage is usually employed based on ancient experience. The general social conditions in southern Asia will likely ensure that these types of massage will continue to be a respected and frequently practised aspect of Indian culture in the future.