Ancient and medieval times
Writings on massage have been found in many ancient civilizations including Rome, Greece, India, Japan, China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. A biblical reference from c.493 BC documents daily massage with olive oil and myrrh as a part of the beauty regimen of the wives of Xerxes (Esther, 2:9-12). Hippocrates wrote in 460 BC that “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing”.
The Ancient Chinese book called Huangdi Neijing by the Yellow Emperor recommended “massage of skin and flesh”.The technique of massage abortion, involving the application of pressure to the pregnant abdomen, has been practiced in Southeast Asia for centuries. One of the bas reliefs decorating the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, dated circa 1150, depicts a demon performing such an abortion upon a woman who has been sent to the underworld. This is believed to be the oldest known visual representation of abortion.In Romania some illnesses were treated by a massage in which the client was trodden on by a tame bear.