Massage: a woman gets a massage in a SPA. Photo: wiki
Volunteer opportunities for massage therapists or volunteers interested in learning about massage therapies. At the end of this page, you will find a list of volunteer projects: exchange programs that may offer (full, or partial) learning opportunities related to massage practices.
How does it work
Most of these programs offer food and accommodation to volunteers in exchange for their help/work. Some opportunities, especially in developing countries, might require the payment of a small contribution to cover the living costs of the volunteer.
A Short History of Massage
The word “massage” seems to derive from the Arabic “mass” or “mash” (to rub, to press) or from the Greek “masso” (to knead, to handle). In spite of the poor knowledge of the human body, early physicians were already able to practice “massages” effectively to treat fatigue, disease, and trauma. Since ancient times, our ancestors already recognized the physical and psychological benefits of this practice, to the point we can say that the science of medicine began with massage therapies.
- In the “Kong Fou”, a Chinese text of 2698 BC, the authors described physical exercises and various types of massage, whose purpose was the achievement of a perfect psycho-physical balance.
- In the XVIII century B.C., in the sacred text L’Ayur-Veda, Brahama recommends to his disciples, to practice massages for hygienic purposes.
- The medical literature of the Egyptians, Persians, and Japanese also often contains references to the beneficial effects of massage.
- In his writings, Hippocrates (406BC) confirmed the virtues of massage and contributed with important observations (confirmed by modern science, centuries after his death).
- In Europe, for the duration of the Roman Empire, massage therapies were an important element of health care, so much so as to place the “massista” on the same level as doctors.
While in the East the tradition of massage continued without breaks, in Western countries the cult of this practice had to face the “obscurantism” period of the Middle Ages. Only in the Renaissance period and the sixteenth-century in Europe, massage practices make a return in the therapeutic field.
Massage therapies, today
In the 20th century, the great progress of conventional medicine initially overshadowed traditional & ancient therapies. However, today, massage therapies are currently experiencing a moment of vigorous rebirth, as modern scientific research recognizes them as an effective therapy, defining its mechanisms of action, indications, and clinical contraindications.
Massage volunteer projects
Are you a host looking for massage therapists? Or perhaps you are an organization/club teaching the benefits of massage? Whether you are looking for volunteers or professional therapists, feel free to add your listing!