chapter  1
A history of massage
Pages 8

Records show that in ancient China over five thousand years ago there was a system of massage and exercise in use. Archaeological expeditions in Asia Minor have established that ancient Asiatic women and men used perfumed oils abundantly on their bodies and hair. It is almost certain that most races used massage and exercise in one form or another dating as far back as the prehistoric ages of man. The peoples of ancient civilizations in Persia, Japan, and Egypt practised the art of massage for cosmetic purposes, and found that they also gained therapeutic effects when they rubbed oils and perfumes into the body and skin to beautify it. Creams taken from Egyptian tombs were found to contain camel fat, almond oil, sheep fat, or castor oil mixed with various resins and tannic substances. These were for cosmetic purposes and were massaged into the skin. Anointing was the placing of a lump of fat on the head, which would gradually melt in the heat and cover the hair and body. Clothes would then cling to the body and reveal its shape. Anointing was also the expression used for rubbing oil into the body. Perfumed oils were used in three different ways by the ancient Egyptians: as offerings to their gods, as an enhancement of the body's beauty, making it smell pleasantly, and as the main ingredients for embalming the dead.