Massage is the systematic manual or mechanical manipulation of soft tissues of the body by such movements as rubbing, kneading, pressing, rolling, slapping, and tapping — for therapeutic purposes such as promoting blood circulation, muscle relaxation, pain relief, metabolic balance, and other benefits both physical and mental.
Massage has been described as “the healing touch.” Often referred to as bodywork or somatic therapy, massage therapy refers to the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body. It consists of a group of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body, using primarily the hands. The massage therapist can also use other areas of the body, such as the forearms, elbows or feet. These techniques affect the musculoskeletal, circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body.
The goal of massage therapy is fairly straightforward: to positively affect the health and well being of the client. Numerous physical and mental health benefits have been attributed to massage, including reducing stress and aiding in relaxation; reducing the heart rate; lowering blood pressure; increasing blood circulation and lymph flow; relaxing the muscles; reducing chronic pain and improving joint range of motion.