Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Massage therapy, also known as Swedish massage, is the most common form of massage.
Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin, it also works on the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves. Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.
Therapeutic massage is an important part of your health maintenance plan, by:
- Reducing or eliminating pain
- Improving joint mobility
- Improving circulation
- Improving the functionality of the immune system
- Increasing lymphatic drainage
- Reducing depression and anxiety
- Reducing tension within muscles
Massage therapy improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues. It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and other waste, which reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. Massage therapy relieves stress by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol and also appears to enhance immune function.