Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, consisting primarily of manual (hands-on) techniques such as applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and moving muscles and body tissues.
Generally, massage is delivered to improve the flow of blood and lymph (fluid in lymph glands, part of immune system), to reduce muscular tension or flaccidity, to affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and to enhance tissue healing. Therapeutic massage may be recommended for children and adults to deliver benefits such as the following:
• Reducing muscle tension and stiffness.
• Relieving muscle spasms.
• Increasing joint and limb flexibility and range of motion.
• Increasing ease and efficiency of movement.
• Relieving points of tension and overall stress; inducing relaxation.
• Promoting deeper and easier breathing.
• Improving blood circulation and movement of lymph.
• Relieving tension-related headaches and eyestrain.
• Promoting faster healing of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles and sprained ligaments.
• Reducing pain and swelling related to injuries.
• Reducing the formation of scar tissue following soft tissue injuries.
• Enhancing health and nourishment of skin.
• Improving posture by changing tension patterns that affect posture.
• Reducing emotional or physical stress and reducing anxiety.
• Promoting feelings of well-being.
• Increasing awareness of the mind-body connection and improving mental awareness and alertness generally.
Oregon and California