The development of Swedish Massage
Swedish or Classic Massage is possibly the most widely known and techniques can range from light to powerful strokes. Development of this massage is often (inaccurately) credited to the work of a physiologist Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839) at the University of Stockholm.
However, Dutchman Johann Georg Mezger applied the French terms to name the five basic strokes.
It is often described as full body massage, as it usually works on all major muscle groups in the body.
Swedish massage techniques are the basis for other types of (Western) massages, such as sports massage and aromatherapy.
The origins of Aromatherapy
The principles behind modern day aromatherapy were created thousands of years ago, and were actively used as early as 2650 BC by the Ancient Egyptians, followed by the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Indians.
Egyptians used oils for embalming, then as perfumes and during healing rituals to calm patients. The Chinese expanded usage into other areas of alternative medicine, such as acupressure and burned aromatherapy oils when performing massage therapy practices, still popular today. Greek physician Asclepius practised medicinal aromatherapy, but it was not until the Renaissance that aromatherapy became valued in Europe.
French chemist, Gattefossé studied both the psychological and physiological effects of essential oils and coined the word aromatherapy in his 1937 publication Aromathérapie. In WWII aromatherapy was used to treat injured soldiers when no antibiotics were available.
Research continued in Germany, UK,USA and France and many recent studies confirm the validity of aromatherapy as a natural healing aid.