Massage therapy is one of the oldest methods of healing, as the practice of therapeutic massage can be traced back nearly 4,000 years. Statistics from both Health Canada 1 and the American Massage Therapy Association 2 show that millions of North Americans use it today. Massage therapy refers to a comprehensive health management strategy focusing on the application of various techniques to positively affect the soft tissues and joints of the body.
Massage Therapy is hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, ligaments, tendons and joints. Massage Therapy treatments aim to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical functioning, relieve or prevent physical dysfunction and pain as well, as enhance the well-being of the client. Treatment will have a therapeutic effect and improve health by acting directly on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. Massage has indirect affects influence the lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, integumentary and endocrine systems.
Massage Therapy is applied using many different techniques. Many common techniques are those that involve, compression, pressure, gliding, kneading, frictioning and manipulation of the connective tissue. Often hydrotherapy (hot or cold) will be utilized to facilitate the desired end result, therapy that complements medical treatment. The "Physician's Guide to Therapeutic Massage" shows that massage can decrease pain, improve range of motion, improve mood, aid in the circulation of blood and lymph flow, reduce muscle and joint soreness, and improve sleep.
1 Health Canada (2003) Health Policy Research Bulletin. Retrieved May 10, 2005, from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada.html
2 American Massage Therapy Association. (2001). Massage Therapy Consumer Fact Sheet