Almost every culture worldwide has practiced massage in some form as a healing technique.
The Chinese have used massage (tuina) for therapeutic purposes for 4,000 years, and it is still a significant part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) today.
Swedish massage appeared in the U.S. in the mid-19th century. The American medical establishment enthusiastically adopted the technique and practiced it for the next 50 years. Massage went out of vogue in the early 20th century as medical technology and pharmaceuticals began their ascent. Only a few practitioners continued to utilize massage—that is, until the 1970s, when it re-emerged on the public scene as part of the increasing interest in alternative medicine and treatments that utilized the mind-body connection. Massage continues to grow in popularity today, and the number of trained massage therapists is increasing rapidly to keep up with the field’s growth.