Did you ever wonder why massage is considered alternative therapy? Or wondered about how massage – which has been depicted in prehistoric cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphs as a primary method of treating ailments – has come to be considered alternative?
Even as recently as the late 19th century, a group of doctors advocated for the inclusion of physiotherapeutics, including manual therapy as a third branch of medicine (alongside surgery and pharmaceutics), while their opponents (also doctors) shunned it as a lesser form of medicine. In the end, physical modalities found a less central place in the conventional medical establishment, becoming a specialty called physical medicine and rehabilitation. The profession of physiotherapy became physical therapy and found a place in conventional medicine, while other massage practitioners of the time (despite having similar skills to early physiotherapists) remained in the tradition of drugless and natural healing, and therefore considered alternative. **
I feel the tide is turning and more and more doctors are recognizing that massage helps the body heal better and faster because more and more of their patients are asking if there is a way for them to heal or feel less pain without medications.
**The Emergence of the MassageTherapy Profession in North America (Curties-Overzet, 2015) by Patricia J. Benjamin.
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