Essays on Massage History 1750-1950
Leonard A Goldstone

Published: Feb 2024
Paperback: 288 pages
Price: £15.00
ISBN: 9781915972101
Available on Amazon

Essays on Massage History 1750-1950
by Leonard Goldstone

A history of significant masseuses, masseurs and Western massage from around 1,750 CE. up to the middle 1900s, in a series of essays in approximate historical order.

The essays stand, and can be read, independently in any order of interest. The essays on early massage form the background to more ‘modern’ developments, in particular in the late 19th century, which was a golden age of literature about massage and a time when eminent doctors figured large in massage writings in the USA, UK and Europe – their important texts often stand in quite startling contrast with 21st-century practice and their writing and the massage developments they describe have received scant attention in 21st-century texts. They offer a world of opportunity for researchers to re-assess.

The author describes how medical audit evolved in the late twentieth century but was anticipated by doctors and masseurs assessing the effectiveness of massage in the mid-19th century. The essays also cover developments in the early- and middle-twentieth century associated with The First World War and the rehabilitation of injured soldiers, along with the (mainly) masseuses who did this work.

In addition, they discuss some controversial areas such as who created so called ‘Swedish Massage’; who were the first writers on medical audit; who was possibly the foremost authority on massage of the late 19th and early 20th century but whose name has been almost erased from history.

The book concludes with a chapter profiling the work of a man who designated himself as a masseur into the 1960s, long after most, former ‘masseurs’, became ‘physiotherapists’, possibly the last ‘masseur’ in England at the time.

The author qualified in Massage in the early 1990s at the Northern Institute of Massage, then in Blackpool, England, following in his wife Jennifer’s footsteps and enthusiasm, she having been an orthopaedic and later paediatic registered nurse for many years, prior to becoming a full time remedial masseuse.

Another massage qualification followed from the West London School of Massage whilst the author was in full time employment as Professor and Dean at the London South Bank University in the Faculty of Health and Social Care. The author has held full time Faculty positions in the University of Manchester and the Open University, as well as Visiting Professor in the Medical School of Queen’s University Belfast.

The author’s academic interest in massage history grew from the mid 1990s, being in London with its great libraries and pioneer distinguished hospitals, some of which opened their records for searches of the how, why and when massage was initiated. Many guest lectures and seminars on massage history in other universities followed and continue into formal academic retirement, together with research papers in prestigious journals, culminating in this volume.