Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



A History of the Sports Massage 27

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 →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Who is the Best Quarterback from the 2020 Rookie Class?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top