Massage is mobilization of soft tissue using manual therapy. Soft tissues include muscles, fascia, and ligaments. Many touch modalities fall under this rubric, including Swedish massage, deep tissue, medical massage, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, and myofascial release.
The National Institute of Health (NIH)’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has identified massage as the most effective, evidence-based complementary medicine in America. Massage therapy can increase circulation of blood and lymph, decrease pain and discomfort, and facilitate a feeling of well-being. It has been shown to boost immune system function and decrease feelings of pain. It has many specific applications for particular ailments and illnesses, including hypertension, headaches, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromaylgia, pain syndromes, circulatory issues, and more. It also promotes relaxation and decreases symptoms of stress and feelings of anxiety.