MASSAGE (Fr. massage, from MOSSCr, Gk. p.ciacrar, masscin, to knead). A means of reme dial treatment consisting in the manipulation of a part or the whole of the body by friction, stole. ing, pressing, kneading, percussion, and like movements. When these applications are com bined with active or passive movements, the process is called the Swedish. movement cure.
The practice of rubbing and anointing is prob ably as old as the race. Bonier alludes fre quently to it. The Egyptians used it. Massage in one form or another was one of the luxuries of the haths of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Soerateg spoke of the curative properties of olive oil with friction; Hippocrates laid stress on rub bing and unguents; Ase•lepiades held that disease was the result of an abnormal arrangement of the atoms which form the human body, and COlkelinently friction, bathing, and exercise would open the pores and allow• the escape of all useless and worn-out atoms, and restore equilibrium; HerophiIns. Athemeus, Celsus, and Galen gave written rules for such treatment. The Chinese are said to uric massage. in place of bleed ing, on the theory of producing better circulation. Both the Turks and the Russians combine it with their baths, and their excellent practice has taken its place in our 'Western civilization. Travelers report that massage in one form or another is in vogue among the peoples they have visited. In Sweden, and later in the United States, massage has received scientific consid eration.
Among the procedures of scientific massage are friction by rubbing, rolling under the fingers, and gently pinching the skin, and rubbing, tap ping, kneading. and exercising the muscles and joints. Beginning at an extremity, the foot for example, the skin is taken up between the thumb and fingers and rolled and pressed; then the muscular masses are well grasped, rolled, and pressed and kneaded, and rapidly tapped; and then each articulation is in turn put thrmigli all its motions. Even the muscles of the neck and face may be subjected to the same treatment. by percussion alone consists in applying to various parts of the body a very rapid suc cession of short blows, not forcible enough to cause pain.
The effects of massage are local and systemic. The local effects are the result of the masseur or rubber putting forth more or less muscular power, which at the points of contact or friction develops or is transformed into another mode of motion—heat. The action thus induced in the
ennstituent tissues of the parts operated on also serves to elevate the temperature. The blood vessels dilate and an increased quantity of blood enters them. and the motion of the blood-cu•rent is accelerated. The immediate effect of these changes is to promote the nutritive energy of the tissues subjected to friction. This result is seen in t he improved color, uumin all, nd volume of the parts. Among the systemic I.Irects, of massage a uniform slight rise of temperature and increase in bodily weight. All the nine I ions are performed with more energy, and power is gained in every way. The effects upon the nervous system are, in general, excellent. l''or instance. if all 111tlauieil jOlnt is rubbed with :xtreme gentleness, the sensibility, at first so acute that the slightest touch would give pain. rapidly subsidies, until. after an hour of friction, it may be handled with some roughness, without evoking painful sensations. The acutest suffering is often alleviated by persistent friction of a gentle kind. The state of spasm of a muscle is relieved and relaxation induced by persevering rubbing of the affected muscle. These results are no doubt due to the fact that the gentle titillation of the cutaneous branches of the nerves (end organs) has so far lowered their irritability that they cease to receive and transmit pa inful im pressions. Among the affections which may be either cured or temporarily relieved by massage are wakefulness and nocturnal restlessness, shn ple headache, or even severe paroxysms of neu ralgia, tic douloureux, hemierania, migraine, spinal pain, infantile paralysis, progressive mils ! cular atrophy, chronic joint affections, synovitis, I contractions, and deformities, and thickening I from inflammatory deposits in joints and other tissues. See MOVEMENT CORE.
Consult: Graham, A Treatise on Massage ( New York, 1890) ; id.. Recent Developments in Massage (Detroit, 1893) ; Mitchell. Fat and Blood, and How to Make Them (Philadelphia, 1884) ; Schreiber (trans. by \V. Mendelssohn), Treatise on Massage (Philadelphia, 1887).