In 1785 Claude-Étienne Savary wrote about his experiences receiving massage in Egypt.
‘Perfectly massaged, one feels completely regenerated, a feeling of extreme comfort pervades the whole system, the chest expands, and we breathe with pleasure; the blood circulates with ease, and we have a sensation as if freed from an enormous load; we experience a suppleness and lightness till then unknown.
It seems as if we truly lived for the first time.
There is a lively feeling of existence which radiates to the extremities of the body, whilst the whole is given over to the most delightful sensations; the mind takes cognizance of these, and enjoys the most agreeable thoughts; the imagination wanders over the universe which it adorns, sees everywhere smiling pictures, everywhere the image of happiness.
If life were only a succession of ideas, the rapidity with which memory retraces them, the vigor with which the mind runs over the extended chain of them, would make one believe that in the two hours of delicious calm which follow a great many years have passed.’
from Robert Noah Calvert’s – The History of Massage