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The importance of touch and massage in different cultures

Touch has played a major role in human life since time immemorial, and the ancient Egyptians knew about its healing powers.

They realized that a kindly massage relaxes and gives strength to a tired body. How have different cultures throughout the history of civilization approached massage?

Massages convey human warmth, a sense of security and give self-esteem. In some societies, they are considered an essential element of interpersonal relationships. Other cultures have limited massage to a means of physical relaxation. But their real meaning is much broader.

The meaning of touch

For humans, touch is significant even from an early age. Mother and child strengthen their relationship through mutual touch. Psychological studies have shown that the less touch we receive in childhood, the more we require it in adulthood.

Touch is also important for couples. They strengthen the emotional bond and strengthen the relationship. They make partners aware of their own energy and discover erotogenic zones. Touching oneself is then equally important - for this too can relax both body and soul.

Massage was known to the ancient Egyptians

The earliest references to massage come from ancient Egypt. It is one of the oldest healing methods. However, they were not directly described until the Chinese around 3000 BC. In the volumes they recommend daily self-massage against colds and as a prevention against health problems.

During the medieval period, the church society emphasized purification of the spirit and the body was not given enough care. In Europe, interest waned, but in Asian countries, therapeutic massage continued to flourish.

Europe has experienced interest in touch therapy since the 16th century. The pioneer was Peer Henrik Ling, who described the practices now considered classical massage. Today, there are over 100 different types, which are intertwined.

Different Approaches of Cultures

Popular types of massage are defined by the cultures in which they appear. Typical is the Indian system of healing, Ayurveda, a therapy that involves, among other things, the application of healing aromatic oils and herbs. Japanese shiatsu working with acupuncture pathways is also well known.

Typical of such massages is the use of local ingredients and resources. Russian massage therapies use honey as a symbol of well-being. Hawaiian massage combines water pressure and combines massage with hydrotherapy.

The Maori romiromi massage from New Zealand also refers to traditional culture. It combines rhythmic movements with acoustic sensations known from traditional Haka dance.

Massage has different meanings for different cultures. They are usually associated with therapeutic effects. However, there are also massages associated with religious rituals, which give way to sexual rituals and orgies. But the aim is always to balance the energy and restore harmony in the body.

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