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   Massage therapy has been practiced over thousands of years within many cultures for relieving pain, healing, protecting, and improving health. In many civilizations medicine was a ritual and was often combined with "magical" or "mystical" activites since people believed that illness came from demons, spirits, or sins. Massage was used by priests and shamons to rid people of these evil entities. The spiritual and medical traditions have been passed on from generation to generation perpetuating the practice of massage. Evidence of this is found from Australia to Africa, including ancient Egypt, to the Pacific Islands, Russia and the Ukraine, and North and South America.

 

     Today massage therapy is evolving within the American healthcare system. Massage therapy and bodywork is now considered a prominent part of complementary and integrative healthcare. Massage therapy is becoming prevelant in medical clinics, pain clinics, chiropractic clinics, and hospitals. All of which are incorporating massage therapy into their services for patients and staff.