Perhaps a bit strange that Ancient Greek Massage® is a trademark for a massage treatment modality based on ancient, publicly available principles, but well… our world today is one huge paradox, with strange anomalies, and yes, this is one of them.
In any case, Ancient Greek Massage® is a massage therapy approach developed by physiotherapist and alternative therapist Elly Tsouknaki. The massage modality is mainly based on techniques described by the famous Greek physician Hippocrates (460 BCE – 370 BCE), who, until today in the West, is considered the “Father of Medicine.”
Other techniques incorporated in the treatment are those which were used at wrestling schools and gymnasiums in ancient Greece and those applied in Asclepion healing temples (named after Asclepius, the first demigod doctor in Greek mythology).
The treatment starts by massaging the body without the use of oils. Subsequently, the skin of the receiver is covered with powder, and with a brush the powder is brushed into the skin with circular movements, a technique which is also called Drybrushing. The idea is to stimulate the circulatory system and to “dry-out humid areas” (a concept advocated by Hippocrates).
The therapist then proceeds to massage the body with warm extra virgin olive oil, which is mixed with essential oils derived from Greek herbs and flowers. During this part of the massage, the practitioner also uses acupressure on specific points, relaxes muscles, and opens energy meridians.
After the oil massage, the body is cupped by moving heated suction cups along the skin to further stimulate relaxation, blood and lymph circulation, and detoxification. The massage session ends with focus on the neck, head and face.
Today, modern trademarked Ancient Greek Massage® is offered by many spas, healing centers, and therapists in Greece, as well as in some spas outside of Greece.
If you’d like to know more about the actual massage therapy practices in Ancient Greece, just visit our previous article Massage Therapy in Ancient Greece.