Massage is perhaps one of the oldest healing traditions. Many ancient peoples – including the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians – were convinced of the therapeutic properties of massage and used it to treat a variety of ailments.
Massage therapy is the practice of kneading or manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft tissues to improve their wellbeing or health. It is a form of manual therapy that includes holding, moving, and applying pressure to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.
One of the immediate benefits of massage therapy is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This occurs because massage prompts the release of endorphins – the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing.
Levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are also reduced. Studies indicate that high levels of stress hormones impair the immune system.