Ancient Greek massage
Apr 20, 2012 Massage Therapy
Ancient Greek massage. The Greek word for massage was anatripsis. The Greeks recognized massage in helping battle problems of fatigue and muscle pain among soldiers. They found it to ease the pain and release tension during training. They also applied to athletes both pre and post tournaments.
Herodicus was the first Greek physician to implement massage as a medical treatment. He claimed it helped to prolong life. In his practice, Herodicus used massage together with herbs and oils. His student, the “Father of Medicine,” Hippocrates (460 – 380 B.C.), claimed massage improved the function of joints and increased muscle tone. He felt the best way to massage a person was towards the heart.
Hippocrates mentioned massage several times in his writings. His most quoted references are found in “On surgery” and “On articulations.” In the former, he states “Anatripsis [massage or rubbing] can relax, brace, incarnate, attenuate: hard anatripsis braces, soft anatripsis relaxes while much anatripsis attenuates and moderate rubbing thickens. In the latter he writes: “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing (anatripsis), for things which have the same name have not always the same effects. For rubbing a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid.”