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Alexander Hinman




Location: washington, dc
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jan, 2006 4:52 pm    Post subject: Battlefield Masseuse?         Reply with quote

I was talking to a friend the other day, and he mentioned his advocation of massages for blacksmiths (which we both are, though as a hobby rather than a profession). He himself receives them with moderate frequency, and mentioned how immensely painful it was because of all the knots he had.

I myself never have had one, but our discussion made me wonder about warriors. The extensive use of the arm (or arms) would do much the same, and so I now ask: Is there any real evidence of any sort of massage parlour, or anything similar, available to warriors of the Middle Ages? (1000 to 1500) I don't specifically mean Europe, but instead just about anywhere.
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jan, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More theorizing, here, not answers. I am neither a smith, nor a WMA practitioner.

I am thinking that a smith, even a "hobbyist" smith, might develop "knots" in the muscles from repetitive motions, and perhaps imbalances between those muscles that the smith uses over and over again, and those other muscles that the smith doesn't apply so much in the craft. Further, such overuse and imbalances might even lead to injury and disability.

I would expect that a warrior would be more likely to have a balanced training regimen. First basis for my reasoning is the thought that development of weapon-specific movement skills and strength might have more variety that the specific movements of a smith. Secondly, I am guessing that, over time, "Drill Instructors" of the past would have learned the importance of developing opposing muscles, stretching, etc.

Just my 2 cents as an academic exercise, since, as I said, I have no experience in either endeavor.

But, I think a masseuse is a great idea. I could use one right now Laughing Out Loud

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jan, 2006 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think injuries can heal causing adhesions inside the muscle tissue that hurt when they are manipulated and broken up to restore function. ( From some sports medicine article I read a long time ago. )

A bit like burning your hand and after bandaging the fingers could fuze together if not bandaged separately.

I think I saw this in an old Disney production set during the War of Independence where a caractor working as a silver smith burns his hand and has his fingers fuzed together after being bandaged for a while.

Maybe it was in " the Swamp Fox " series with a very young Leslie Nielson ( Spelling ? ) a 1950's production?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jan, 2006 4:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

I think I saw this in an old Disney production set during the War of Independence where a caractor working as a silver smith burns his hand and has his fingers fuzed together after being bandaged for a while.

Maybe it was in " the Swamp Fox " series with a very young Leslie Nielson ( Spelling ? ) a 1950's production?


That sounds like part of the book Johnny Tremain, though I could be wrong; but I am certain that Johnny, a silver smith, burns his hand from molten metal spilling out of a ruptured crucible (?) when he was attempting to finish a commission on a Sunday (a big no-no to break the Sabbath).
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jan, 2006 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Addison C. de Lisle wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:

I think I saw this in an old Disney production...

That sounds like part of the book Johnny Tremain....

Well, Disney did Johnny Tremain, as well as the Swamp Fox. I guess Jean and I are dating ourselves (again).

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jan, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Must have been Johnny Tremain sounds like the right story. These Disney productions do tend to " fuze " together in one's memory after 40 years. Razz Laughing Out Loud
You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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James Nordstrom




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 18 Sep 2003

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu 05 Jan, 2006 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Battlefield Masseuse?         Reply with quote

Alexander Hinman wrote:
Is there any real evidence of any sort of massage parlour, or anything similar, available to warriors of the Middle Ages? (1000 to 1500) I don't specifically mean Europe, but instead just about anywhere.


From my experience:
Roman soldiers made extensive use of heated baths and massage whenever they could get them. The more permanent camps usually had extensive baths.

I have read that the Turks made use of the same.

Filipino martial arts have a long history of medicine (massage, oils, herb packs, etc). Many of the masters are also considered excellent healers. I know for a fact that (Master) Carlito Bonjorc (sp) is a master of massage, pressure points and the resetting of dislocated fingers. The same goes for Indonesian arts.

Cheers
Jim
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