Why A Therapist Recommends the Ancient Egyptian Healing Massage

In order for self-care to manifest with regularity, one needs to plan it into their calendar with intention. Otherwise, it’s easy to let that priority fall by the way side. —

Stress from school, work, family, and friends can be, at times, demotivating and draining. It is during these moments some of us resort to consuming a lot of our comfort food. Others would go out and travel to different places while some prefer staying at home and watching their favorite series. The rest may choose to visit a massage therapist. All of these can help you regain that drive and energy back. Massages are designed to relax you from all of these stresses.

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The manipulation of soft tissue, including muscles, joints, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments, is known as massage therapy. It has been a well-known and used treatment for various body pains, chronic pain conditions, and everyday stresses. One of the first cultures to use such treatment is the ancient Egyptians between 3000 and 2500 BCE. The ancient Egyptians used massages for therapeutic purposes. One of their earliest forms of massage is the Ancient Egyptian Healing Massage.

Ancient Egyptian Healing Massage

The earliest references of ancient Egyptian massages found on the walls of the tomb of Ptahhotep shown to be having a manicure and pedicure. The next sighting came from the tomb of Niuserre, which showed a king enjoying a foot massage. The last sighting was on the wall carvings in the tomb of renowned healer Ankhmahor where men were seen to have their feet and hands worked on. Each sculpture has shown that the areas for concern among the Egyptians were mainly the hands and the feet.

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Today, there are only a handful of practitioners left for this specific form of massage therapy. However, this served as a pioneering force that drove towards modern-day reflexology, which is also known as zone therapy. Ancient Egyptian healing massages back in the past focused on energy pathways. The Egyptians were concerned with massaging specific areas or “zones” of the body where energy is believed to flow. Through this massage, one can get rid of the blockages preventing the imbalance of energy flow within their body.

The Egyptians were also known to be masters of therapeutic oil. Such oils of today have been helpful in various forms of injuries and diseases such as chronic muscle pains and sinus problems. With the combination of such oils in their massage practices, a person can be guaranteed to have their energy flowing once again.

That’s the irony of massage. It stimulates the neurochemical oxytocin, the feeling we experience as trust, but you have to start with a lot of trust for it to work. — Loretta G. Breuning Ph.D.

Benefits Of A Massage  

In modern times, several concepts of the ancient Egyptian have paved the way for therapeutic massage and reflexology. These two fields have been used in conjunction to help relax an individual. Reflexology focuses on zones and does not use therapeutic oils while therapeutic massages may. Listed below are eight major benefits of massage therapy.

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  • Gets Rid Of Muscle Pain

A person can obtain an increase in blood circulation from massage therapy. Through this increase in flow, you can lose your muscle pain most of the time.

  • Improves Sleep

Being in a state of relaxation can help boost a person’s mood. It makes it easier for anyone to sleep after a stressful day from work or school.

Research shows that gentle touch in a safe environment aids stress reduction and pain relief (for example, Weze et al., 2005). — Deborah Bier, PhD

  • Relieves Anxiety And Stress

Through massage therapy, you can alleviate your anxiety and stress since this can help release endorphins in your body. Endorphins are hormones which give you a feeling of joy, ease, and energy.

  • Improves Blood Circulation

The energy paths, the Ancient Egyptians may have referred to might have been the flow of our blood stream. Massages have been shown to increase one’s blood flow throughout their body. It can help get rid of fatigue and different forms of muscle pain.

  • Enhances The Immune System

Certain studies have found massages to stimulate the lymph nodes. It recharges one’s natural defense systems. Other studies have also found it to boost a person’s white blood cell count.

  • Eliminates Toxins

Massages have also been found to stimulate the soft tissues in your body. It also helps your lymphatic systems to release toxins in your body.

  • Increases Range Of Motion

Massages help relax your muscles and make it easier to move around. Those who usually play sports that increase the tension in their muscles may need this to expand their range of motion such as baseball pitchers, football players, and basketball players.

  • Decreases Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia-related pain involves pain caused by aches found all over your body. It may come from painful “tender” points which don’t disappear no matter what medication you take. By getting a therapeutic massage, however, you can alleviate and get rid of this problem.

The ancient Egyptians have contributed a lot to the field of reflexology and therapeutic massage. It has paved the way for an alternative form of medicine which can directly and immediately help you.

The State Of Mental Health In Egypt

The mental health sector in Egypt is currently working on its awareness and progressing towards providing proper healthcare to all its citizens in all regions. This Mediterranean country is still considered underdeveloped in terms of mental health awareness compared to the west.  A nationwide survey conducted by psychologists in 2018 resulted in 25% of the population suffering and enduring numerous mental health issues, namely, anxiety, depression, drug, and substance abuse. It showed that the rural regions had the highest rates of mental health problems compared to their urban counterparts.

[Vamik] Volkan says we have a “second skin,” a secondary layer of personhood.  In addition to our sense of self, we often have an extended identity: our group identity. — Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D.

Though higher authorities and governments were notified and have said to be implementing plans to provide access to proper treatment, the developments seem to be too slow in adequately caring for the people of Egypt. Egypt’s mental health sector still suffers from low funding, material, and human resources. Not to mention the scarcity of proper health facilities to treat citizens that needs full care.

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Another issue Egypt faces in the mental health sector is the lack of trained professionals. There is still a growing stigma against mental health care and the idea of the illness that pushes Egyptians to believe mental health is a myth. The government promise to promote awareness, but even until now, citizens of Egypt still lack proper treatment and education on the issue.

Depression, Anxiety, And Substance Abuse

Common mental health illnesses, as stated above, are prevalent all across the globe. Sadly it is also the three major health issues in Egyptians today. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse cause the most impact through the significant harm they bring in different parts of Egypt mainly; mortality, morbidity, and financial destruction.

  • 43.7% of Egyptians suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • 30.1% suffer from depression linked to drug/substance abuse.

Often what causes us suffering is not a particular adverse event, but our opinion about it. We can make a difficult situation much worse by the attitude we bring to it. — Susan K Perry Ph.D.

What Has The Government Done?

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  • Mental Health Awareness Campaigns

Egypt has attempted to launch campaigns, increasing awareness of mental health issues. The advocacies are usually collaborations with NGOs and governments to reach out to the marginalized and in need. Egypt has also tried to launch awareness through the media – television shows and movies.

  • Law For Proper Care Of Mental Health Patients

Egypt’s parliament passed a mental health law in 2009 that ensures the protection of the rights of the patients who suffer from different mental health problems. The law also included a bill of rights for mental health facilities, and the patients’ right to consent to be treated or admitted into these facilities.

Why Isn’t Egypt’s Health Sector Providing Proper Care Nationwide?

  • Lack of trained mental health professionals
  • Low government spending
  • Lack of facilities
  • Negative stigma towards mental health
  • Failure of the government to see it as a priority

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Though the government still aims to improve. It is evident the citizens of Egypt still need more awareness and treatment, especially in rural areas. Compared to Western countries where people continuously erase the negative stigma around mental health, and where healthcare and awareness are prominent, the Egyptian government still needs to go a long way to provide citizens with the exact treatment they need. Another issue growing is the increase in anxiety and depression in teachers and young students all over the country. Having a mental health professional in each institution will help in catering the teachers and students in need.

“Treat others the way they deserve to be treated.” Let’s call it the “New Golden Rule.” What this implies is that we should judge others to assess what kind of treatment they deserve, and then treat them accordingly. —

Mental health awareness wasn’t as prevalent in the past years. But throughout the 2000s era, the stigma around it has completely changed. People all over the world used to brush off deep-rooted emotions and traumas because there was no one else around them speaking out on issues such as theirs. Now that it is a global issue, starting with first world countries through pop culture, social media, and celebrities speaking out on their experiences with mental illnesses, there are more outlets for people who need proper treatment and health care.

This awareness is still slowly making its way to smaller countries such as Egypt, but they still have a long way to go. The people of Egypt deserve the same treatment people of western countries receive, precisely because they suffer a higher percentage of it.

More and more campaigns are being launched to bring awareness to this, and facilities and workforce still have yet to be provided equally. Egypt has a long way to go before being able to properly attend to the citizens that truly need the government’s help and attention. Multiple NGOs continue to fight for their rights to proper treatment from higher authorities. Hopefully, this makes a significant mark to bring attention to the Egyptian government and improve the mental health of its people.

Survey: 25% Of Egyptians Suffer From Mental Health Issues

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Twenty-five percent of the Egyptian population are afflicted with disorders and conditions related to mental health. This was discovered from the findings of a study conducted throughout the nation by the Ministry of Health.
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The Development Of Behavioral Health In Egypt

 

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The Basics

Egyptian behavioral health or Egyptian psychology started in the 19th century. Psychology according to Islam was the study of the human behavior and the human mind – the mind specifically referring to human consciousness or intellect. Hence, the old Islamic psychology did not only focus on the mind. It included the soul, which represented human personality and nature. It also included the heart and the spirit, as evidenced by the extensive writings of the medieval Arab scholars. Islamic behavioral health or Islamic psychology as a whole encompassed the study of the self (or the ‘Nafs’) and was associated with psychiatry, psychology, and the sciences.

The Development

An Egyptian king did the first documented psychological experiment in the 7th century. It concluded that if children from Egypt were separated when they were infants without exposure to any type of communication, they would instinctively speak their original language – Egyptian – further supporting the idea that language comes from the mind. Eventually, psychology was introduced and practiced by all Arab regions, and several Arab scholars made history in contributing to the discipline. These include Ibn-Khaldoun, Al-Farabi, Ibn-Sina, and Ibn-al-Heitham.

The practice flourished even more with the opening of the first university in Egypt in 1908. Subsequently, the first behavioral health lecture was held there in 1911, which was a discussion of the psychology of women. During this time, French teachers taught psychology in Egypt. However, in 1940, the Egyptian psychologists were given the responsibility, and since then they taught psychology. The best teacher ever known in Egypt was Y. Mourad, who studied and earned his Psychology degree in France. After him, several others got qualified to teach the discipline in Egypt and surrounding Arab countries, although organizations established associated with psychology were short-lived due to financial reasons.

Trials

Undeniably, Egypt became the primary doorway of modern psychology to the rest of the Arab nations. Consequently, most of these nations share equal strengths and weaknesses with Egypt when it comes to the behavioral health discipline. Perhaps this is because Egypt and the Arab nations share the same language, religion, history, and political issues. Some of the trials and challenges of Egyptian psychology include:

  • Universities in Egypt have had financial issues, just as other sectors in Egypt did. This affected academic outcomes, including psychology.
  • The Psychology Department is still part of the Arts Department in Egypt instead of being a separate one. This is why the discipline is torn between the scientific and the literary disciplines. As a result, there is also a conflict between two classifications of psychologists – the teachers from graduate school and those from the medical group.
  • Animal psychology has not been receiving attention in the Egyptian psychological institutes.
  • The presence of misconceptions surrounding psychology, including the belief that mental illness is a sign of weak faith, that those who are inflicted with a mental disorder should not be given high-level type jobs, and that mentally ill individuals should not be allowed to wander freely but should be locked away in mental care institutions.

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The Future Of Egyptian Behavioral Health

In spite of the many trials, even until today, Egyptian psychologists have reached up to 70% of the entire Arab psychologist population, and Egyptian research and studies make up approximately 70% of the entire Arabic outcomes. These committed psychologists who are sincere in their practice hope to be involved in more collaboration with funded trials with colleagues from across the world. They want to establish a standard database for different psychological tests that are useful especially for their people. It is also their biggest hope that one day, professional meetings and conferences of psychological societies will be held in the Arab regions to help them in developing behavioral health and psychology as a whole in their part of the world.

Summary

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Indeed, there have been, and still, there are challenges that face Egyptian psychology, which includes finances to support and perform research activities. Unfortunately, there is also a lack of an appropriate system of communication among Egyptian and Arab psychologists, plus a vague and problematic identity of the standing of psychology. The further development of this experimental but major branch of science in Egypt will not be a walk in the park, but it certainly has to be done.

 

 

 

Faith And Society: How Religious Beliefs Shape The Modern Day Egypt

The Golden Rule can be found in religions and philosophies all over the world. It was first written down in ancient Egypt. —

When it comes to famous tourist destinations, Egypt has always been on the top of lists since the time of enlightenment. But what made these tourist destinations different from other countries is its correlation with the ancient civilization and the religious beliefs that every Egyptian family still carries until now.

Since the early 1300s, Egypt has been practicing their religious beliefs as the basis for making laws of the state. The legislative branch of the Egyptian government sees the predominant religion like Islam as a primary pillar that can shape society for the future generation. However, let us also tackle and look at the relationship of other minor religious beliefs like Christianity and Judaism to modern Egyptian society.

Islam As The Predominant Religion

Egypt’s population consists of roughly 94 percent of Muslim believers. A large part of this population considers themselves as the follower of Sunni Islam in which they recognize the four caliphs as the rightful leaders of the state. Meanwhile, there is also a small portion of this population that faithfully believes in Mu’tazila, Shia Twelvers, and Ismailism. Apart from that, the renowned principal and long-standing Islamic university ever recorded in the world is in Egypt.

Al-Azhar University offers Islamic studies that enhance the Muslim believer’s principles, convictions, and practices in which it can foster a beneficial impact on all sectors of the Egyptian community. After graduation, the majority of the students from the university pursue working in the government where they can facilitate legislative decisions that follow the Islamic rules. It is also to support the propagation of Islamic faith which citizens believe to be an effective political system and the only way they can afford the preservation of order.

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Although Islam and its rules have contributed a positive impact to the community as the official state religion of Egypt, flaws continue to emerge such as denial of religious freedom. The government is firm with the decision of not recognizing non-Muslim individuals because they believe that it is in contradiction with national peace. So for citizens who have converted and practiced other religious belief, they are arrested and subjected to penalization.

It is an old truth but a frequently forgotten one: there are no leaders without followers. If followers decide to take a different route then the individual at the front ceases to be the leader. — Mark Van Vugt Ph.D.

Christianity As The Second Religion

The Christian religion in Egypt still exists to around five percent of the population despite the prominence of Islamic faith in the country. A large portion of the Christian community in Egypt belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria where the Bible is the basis of services and lessons.

Because of the presence of Christianity, the government has adopted a more democratic way of leadership in the country. The 12 diocesan bishops serve as the authorities or councils in the community, where they handle the finances of the Christian churches in the area. They are authorized to administer rules in regards to education, heritage, and marriage.

Just like Islam, the leaders of the Christian church in Egypt have established primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges that hone children to the teachings of the gospel. Aside from that, a strong foundation of Sunday-school movement has been visible for years to offer religious education, good ethics, and manners to incapable children who cannot go to Coptic schools.

Judaism: The Lowest In Number Among The Recognized Religions

Although Judaism is considered one of the oldest broad evangelical religions present in the world, it is still one of the lowest in terms of the number recognized in Egypt. Records estimate that less than one percent of present-day Egypt’s population practices Judaism. The 40 Jews remaining in the country is a representation of the ones who left after the massive migration to Israel in 1948. 

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A lot of Jewish religious practices are very much family-oriented. For example, they never forget the tradition of doing Sabbath meal where relatives unite in one table to honor the sacred day. Since the religion of Judaism is a faith of action, believers tend to seek both obedience to the law of the land and obedience to the law of the spirits which contribute to the holiness of the world. The remaining population of Egypt who believes in Judaism follows rules that help with keeping a group of individuals together for the betterment of the future generation.

Unrecognized Religions

The remaining percentage of the entire population of Egypt belongs to the unrecognized religions such as Atheism, Hinduism, Baha’I Faith, and Agnosticism. The religions mentioned are the religious beliefs that were not able to register their customs and traditions to the Department of Religious Affairs. The lack of state recognition of the religions is an indication of a more complex processing system in the country. For example, an individual who has Baha’I faith that is residing in Egypt may have a hard time registering for bank accounts, educational institutions, and businesses.

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Since the early times, faith and society were never separate. They always come hand in hand because religion is instituted to regulate society. There is a strong potential for religious beliefs and practices to enormously address social issues. That is why it has taken up accountability to improve the shape of society in all aspects.

We don’t control other people, the weather, the economy, our bodies and health, our reputation, or things in the past and future. The only thing we have complete control over is our beliefs—if we choose to exercise this control. — Susan K Perry Ph.D.

Did You (Or Didn’t You) Know This About Egypt?

 

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Egypt, referred to as the land of the pharaohs, is popular for its shimmering treasures, great pyramids, and historical mummies. But what else do you know about this interesting country?

Read on and discover what you probably didn’t know about Egypt – its people, cultures and beliefs, and their way of life.

 

Facts About Egypt

  1. Employed Workers Built The Pyramids, Not Slaves. That I didn’t know!

We have been made to believe all this time, through the historian Herodotus, that over 100,000 slaves combined forces to build the Great Pyramids of Egypt. However, archaeological proof reveals that salaried employees totaling to 5,000, and 20,000 temporary employees worked on them. These men were not slaves. They were housed in a camp and provided with food, water, and medical services.

 

  1. Not All Who Died Were Mummified. But in the movies, everyone was.

Mummies are a distinct artifact, which is almost always associated with Egypt. But contrary to what we thought, only the wealthy Egyptians were mummified, since the process of mummification was laborious and quite expensive. Majority of the dead in Egypt were buried in the deserts, in simple pits.

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The belief of the rich Egyptians was that if their bodies were preserved or mummified, they would possibly live again.

 

  1. Men And Women In Egypt Had Equal Rights. This sounds ironic since in most Muslim countries, the men were always above the women. 

Egyptian women shared the same status as men. In other words, they can own properties, work and earn, and they can live on their own without any protection from men. In business matters, they were also allowed to replace their absent husbands.

Egyptian women, however, are expected to marry and fulfill their roles as wife and mother. Therefore, they were to take care of the house and raise their children well while the husband works and earns for the family.

 

  1. Egyptian Women Can Become Kings. Does this happen anywhere else?

Typically, the next king of Egypt is the previous king’s son, which is not always the case in this country. The king can actually choose whomever he wants to take his crown, even the most unlikely individual. Hatshepsut is one of the few women rulers who successfully reigned for over 20 years. She was literally King because queens in Egypt were used to refer to wives of the king.

 

  1. Cleopatra May Not Have Been Beautiful After All. We would beg to disagree, as she seduced two very important men – Mark Antony and Julius Cesar. Perhaps they were taken by her wits?

 

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Cleopatra VII was the last queen of the old Egypt and she was believed to be beautiful, smart, and cunning. We have always assumed that she was beautiful, yet the coin that has her face engraved on proves otherwise. On her coin, Cleopatra had a sharp chin, a protruding nose, and eyes that were deep-set. But others suggest that maybe she wanted to look less feminine on her coin, although the historian Plutarch, who never ever saw the queen, tells that Cleopatra’s charm was all in her character and her lovely voice!

 

Do you know of other interesting and unique details on the history of Egypt? If you do, let us know!

 

 

Know More About Ancient Egypt’s Trade Relations 

Every major empire has one thing in common: trade. Yes, trade relations are of vital importance for the growth and development of Ancient Egypt. This ancient empire had established trade relations from countless countries, from their next-door neighbors to far-away Eastern lands. Here are just some of Ancient Egypt’s former trade partners.   

 

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3 Unique Ways Egyptians Handle Stress 

Egypt is more than just the tombs and mummies. It is a nation located where Africa and Asia meet. Moreover, it is a country surrounded by deserts, pyramids, and rivers. With its rich culture and history masked with mystery, it is a fascinating place to visit.

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