Massage Therapy consists primarily of hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, specifically, the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints for the purpose of optimizing health.
Massage therapy treatment has a therapeutic effect on the body and optimizes health and well-being by acting on the muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems. Physical function can be developed, maintained and improved; and physical dysfunction and pain and the effects of stress can be relieved or prevented through the use of Massage Therapy.
Modern Massage techniques can be traced back to the 1700s and the development of Swedish massage, the first systematic method of Therapeutic Massage based on physiology. Today’s Massage Therapists use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology to combine traditional Swedish and modern Massage Therapy techniques with exercise and other therapies to treat their clients.
– College of Massage Therapists, Ontario
Massage is rubbing the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. Massage may be helpful in reducing tension and pain, improving blood flow, relieving pressure on nerves, restoring normal joint movement, and encouraging relaxation.
Massage Therapists usually apply pressure with their hands, but they can also use their forearms, elbows, or feet. There are at least eighty different types of massage. Some are gentle, and some are very active and intense.
For example, Swedish Massage is very gentle and is often used to promote relaxation, improve blood flow, and relieve muscle tension. Massage Therapists use long, gliding strokes and kneading and tapping techniques on the top layer of muscles in the direction of blood flow to the heart. This may also include moving the joints gently to improve range of motion.
Deep tissue massage is more active and intense. It is used to treat long-lasting muscle tension. The therapist applies slow strokes (with the fingers, thumbs, and elbows) using intense pressure to reach deeper layers of the muscles than those reached with a Swedish Massage technique.
Trigger Point Massage is less gentle and can sometimes be uncomfortable. The Therapist applies firm pressure to knots or tight, tense muscles that have been overused or injured, continuing until the muscles relax. Let your massage therapist know if you feel any discomfort during the massage.
Some people feel that massage works because the touch is healing. Touch also communicates a sense of caring.
– HealthLink BC
Registered massage therapy is the treatment and prevention of dysfunction, injury, pain and physical disorders of the soft tissues and joints by manual and physical methods to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function to relieve pain and promote health.
Massage therapists manipulate the body’s soft tissues – muscles, tendons, connective tissues, joints, and ligaments – to achieve results.