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  • Erica Vinson

10 Interesting Massage Facts

Massage has been around for thousands of years and enjoyed by many all over the world, but there are always new things to learn. Here are a few things that you might not know about massage therapy!


1. Bob Hope got a massage every day and lived to be 100

He got a massage every day for 63 years. Bob Hope said that a good massage is one of the greatest pleasures in life with many therapeutic benefits.


2. The longest ever ‘massage chain’ involved 1600 people

A massage chain is defined as three or more people arranged in a line with each person giving the next in line a massage. The longest massage chain ever recorded was 1,600 people long at an event organized by The Philippine Association of Licensed Massage Therapists (Philippines) in Boracay, Malay Aklan, Philippines, on 16 May 2014. The chain went along the beach in Boracay.


3. The most people to be massaged at once is 641

This feat was achieved by the Department of Health Service Support Ministry of Public Health (Thailand), in Nonthaburi, Thailand, on 30 August 2012. There were 641 couples and a total of 1,282 people involved in this record attempt, which was started by Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.


4. Only blind and visually impaired people can practice massage in South Korea

According to law makers in South Korea’s constitutional court, professional massage services should only be carried out by blind people because they generally have fewer career choices. If you’re caught massaging when you’re not visually impaired, you could end up getting five years in prison or $46,000 in fines.


5. Julius Caesar was a massage fan

In 100-44 BC Julius Caesar enjoyed massage therapy daily to relieve his neuralgia and epileptic seizures. 


6. The first electric massage chair was invented in Japan before World War II

It is said that the inventor was a man with a fragile, sickly daughter who wanted her to have the benefits of a massage whenever she needed it. 


7. ‘Massage’ as a word, has been around officially since the 15th Century

Although it didn’t mean the same as it does now. The earliest recorded use of the word ‘massage’ according to the English language was around 1450, when it meant “the action of saying Mass”. It took on the modern meaning in 1866, and the words ‘masseur’ and ‘masseuse’ were added in 1876 and 1879 respectively.


8. Almost one in five Americans has had a massage in the past year

According to AMTA's 2017 Consumer Survey, an average of 19 % of adult Americans has had at least one massage between July 2016 and July 2017. More than one in three of us (33%) has had a massage in the previous five years.


9. Snake massage is actually a THING

Snake massage started to appear online in 2013. It involves washing the snakes, then laying back and letting them slither around, which supposedly feels good and gives an excellent facial. The snake of choice... The Python....because it is not venomous. However, they kill their prey by squeezing the life out of them. Yeah, no thanks.


10. Swedish massage isn’t actually Swedish!

‘Swedish’ massage techniques are often credited to Swedish fencing instructor Per Henrik Ling. In fact, it was Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger who developed the treatment as we know it, and he also gave all the strokes the names they have held on to this day. Effleurage, for the smooth gliding strokes; petrissage for squeezing, rolling and kneading; and tapotement, the rhythmic tapping.

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