When someone rubs your muscles to help relax them, that's a massage. Feels good, doesn't it? When someone tells you how great you are to gain favor, they massage your ego. Not bad, either.

The word massage has a mysterious background, possibly coming from the Arabic massa, meaning "to touch," finding its way to 19th Century France by way of Napoleon. Would you accept a foot massage from Napoleon? Or, it might have worked its way to France from India, where amassar carries the meaning "knead." The year 1913 saw the first massage parlor, which was really a brothel. Today massage is a recognized form of physical therapy and is, of course, practiced by amateurs too. A little to the left, please.

Definitions of massage
  1. noun
    kneading and rubbing parts of the body to increase circulation and promote relaxation
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    the act of rubbing down, usually for relaxation or medicinal purposes
    cardiac massage, heart massage
    an emergency procedure that employs rhythmic compression of the heart (either through the chest wall or, during surgery, directly to the heart) in an attempt to maintain circulation during cardiac arrest
    a rhythmic stroking
    massage of the skin which is gently lifted and squeezed
    massage to relieve tension by finger pressure; based on the belief that there are reflex points on the feet, hands, and head that are connected to every part of the body
    Swedish massage
    massage combined with a system of active and passive exercises for the muscles and joints
    massage in which the body is tapped rhythmically with the fingers or with short rapid movements of the sides of the hand; used to loosen mucus on the chest walls of patients with bronchitis
    type of:
    intervention, treatment
    care provided to improve a situation (especially medical procedures or applications that are intended to relieve illness or injury)
  2. verb
    manually manipulate (someone's body), usually for medicinal or relaxation purposes
    synonyms: knead, rub down
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    type of:
    hold something in one's hands and move it
  3. verb
    give a massage to
    “She massaged his sore back”
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    type of:
    care for, treat
    provide treatment for
Word Family

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