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Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2000 Nov;6(4):169-75.

Massage as an orthodox medical treatment past and future.

Author information

  • Faculty of Health, South Bank University, London, UK. goldstla@sbu.ac.uk

Abstract

Massage has had a long history within orthodox medicine and is not an unknown, untried therapy of dubious origin. Writers on massage usually refer to its long history in ancient cultures but stop with Ling, to whom they attribute the development of modern massage in the early 19th century. Little attention is given to the rich massage literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which reveals massage to have been an orthodox medical therapy practised by doctors and nurses. Analysis of that literature shows massage to have been significantly different in its application to most of today's practice, despite similarity of definition and terminology. Lack of detailed specification of a massage is a limitation of much current research, and this paper suggests a framework, or template, for that specification based on the earlier literature, so that future massages used in research can be replicated and implemented more reliably than at present. Massage as an orthodox therapy almost disappeared after WWII, but has recently reemerged as a complementary therapy which requires a full re-evaluation and audit. The template for its specification, together with the utilization and reconsideration of earlier modes of delivery, offers significant research opportunities for nurses and midwives of today.

PMID:
11858299
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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