Rhythmical Massage strives to restore harmony in the individual by overcoming imbalances caused by stress and illness. It supports the process of healing and aids in the prevention of illness by working with life sustaining processes such as warmth, rhythm, and breathing. The gentle rhythmic quality of touch, which is central to the massage, penetrates deeply. Rhythmical massage works with levity instead of gravity harmonizing the bodily rhythms of the individual.
The Rhythmical Massage Therapist develops and implements a treatment based on an understanding of the individual patient's condition from an anthroposophical point of view. The therapist chooses what quality of touch to use and what areas of the body to address. More than mere technique, Rhythmical Massage Therapy also requires both consistent professional development and self-development resulting from the knowledge gained through anthroposophy.
Dr. Ita Wegman developed rhythmical Massage Therapy in the 1920s. Dr. Wegman, who was a medical doctor as well as a physiotherapist and massage therapist, worked closely with Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy, in creation of the Anthroposophical approach to healing. Dr. Wegman established a clinic in Switzerland, where Anthroposophical medicine was first practiced. It was at this clinic, now called the Ita Wegman Clinic, that she applied the Anthroposophical spiritual scientific understanding of the human being to Swedish massage.
When Dr. Margarete Hauschka joined the clinic, she and Dr. Wegman collaborated for twelve years to further develop this new approach to massage therapy. Drs. Wegman and Hauschka taught this massage to the physicians and nurses at the clinic. It wasn't until later that Dr. Hauschka named this new massage "Rhythmical Massage as indicated by Dr. Ita Wegman," thereby including both its character and the name of its founder. In 1962, Dr. Hauschka opened a School for Rhythmical Massage in Boll, Germany.