Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



A History of the Sports Massage 28

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse

sports massageEvery good athlete knows the benefit of a sports massage, and it is often a factor in their success. Some elite athletes even have sports massage therapists who travel with them to help them improve performance, prevent injury and feel better as they are exercising or playing their sport.

Ancient Massage
Massage generally has been in existence for thousands of years. In China, there are documents claiming that massage was used 8,000 years BC for ailments. The ancient Persians and Indians were also known for healing with massage, and the Ancient Romans were treated to a massage before and after Olympic events. Knowledge of massage continued to progress until the Chinese created the first schools of massage in 100 AD.

Late 1800s
There is debate about who introduced the theories and techniques of medical massage to the scientific community. Some attribute them to Johann Mezger, and others to Pehn Ling. However, terms such as effleurage (gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (pounding), friction (rubbing) and vibration (shaking) were used at this time, and they continue to be used to this day.

The Finnish School of Massage officially laid out sports massage methods in 1900. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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