We’ve often discussed the health benefits of massage here. It cuts down on stress evidenced by the steroid hormone Cortizol, improving your immune system and resistance to illness and depression. Deep massage stimulate the production of proteins which encourage muscle growth, and dampen those which inflame muscles.

While these benefits are real and valuable, it’s all a bit clinical. It’s important to remember that massage is much, much more than simply having our muscles pressed until certain biological triggers are activated. Massage is a meaningful treatment, long associated with glamour and indulgence.

As far as we can tell, massage originated as a medical technique. It comes from Ancient China, and was referred to by physicians along with acupuncture as an effective method of curing various ailments. Though massage supposedly transformed into a recognisable form of what we see today soon enough. For instance, a biblical refrence describes the wives of Xerxes in 493BC, who were treated each day with oil of myrrh as part of their intensive beauty regimen. With the fragrant oils and scents we associate with massage today, the glamour and beauty of it is long established.

In Rome, massage was again a luxurious and desirable activity. The Roman Baths we still see remnants of today were similar to modern spas, with bathing, scented oils and gentle massage used to rejuvenate visitors.

The medicine and glamour of massage have gone hand in hand for thousands of years, and as the medical benefits become increasingly recognised among athletes, there’s no doubt the luxury will continue to be appreciated among the public.