In his epic Odyssey, Homer describes the restorative
powers of massage performed for exhausted war heroes. (The masseuses were reputedly 'beautiful' young women.)
Greek warriors
Iliad

Asclepiades, a Greek physician who lived from 124 to 40 BC, believed that life was the result of "atoms" constantly on the move within the body. Disease and death was caused by obstructions of their movement. (A belief
similar of course to Eastern concepts of the flow of ki within the body.) It is believed that Asclepiades discovered that sleep can be induced by gentle stroking. The Greek word for massage is anatripsis, meaning 'to rub up.' (Asclepiades reputed 'revived', with 'manipulations,' a Roman citizen being carried to his grave in a coffin. However, there's little substance to the rumor his friends called him Sklep, and isn't that a rather pronounced sternocleidomastoid we see on his bust?)
Asclepiades
Avicenna

Avicenna, the great Arab scholar/physician who lived from 980 to 1037, described massage as a means of fighting fatigue, partly through a reduction of toxicity in
tissues. Today he's considered far ahead of his time in the realm of health awareness.

In the late 19th century, some physicians started to dismiss language as the way to reach their so-called mental patients. For example, massage was a standard treatment for dealing with debilitating fatigue or for women with 'emotional problems.'
From "Discovering the Body's Wisdom" (1996) by Mirka Knaster

"It is astonishing how quickly relief and sleep can be effected to seemingly sleepless patients. Time and again I have been called in the middle of the night by men of high standing and great mind.
Indeed, during my practice in Washington, I
frequently had to shut off the light in the White House, telling the officers at the door, as I left, that the President was asleep."

- Hartvig Nissen, Practical Massage and Corrective Exercises (1923)

Nissen, a Norwegian, introduced 'Swedish gymnastics' a.k.a. 'Swedish massage' to America in the 1880s.
Hartvig Nissen
Quad stretch in ancient Thailand

In southern Thailand, some monks in monasteries perform massage to treat conditions such as drug
addiction. One of the major
reasons people there seek out massage is to help relieve fatigue.
(Source: Knaster)

Apparently a stretch of the quad,
against resistance, with the foot
stabilizing the hip.

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