Massage therapy generally aims to:
Maintain or augment physical function
Many people use massage therapy as a form of body maintenance, receiving massage simply for the continuance of good health. Massage therapy can also be an integral part of an athletic training program by preventing muscle and tendon injuries, speeding recovery time which help to improve performance for the competitive or recreational athlete.
Relieve, manage or prevent physical dysfunction and pain
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, headaches, muscle strains and spasms, ligament sprains, back pain, repetitive strain injuries, pregnancy-associated discomfort and post surgery / post-injury rehabilitation, TMJ pain are all problems that can be helped with massage therapy. Massage therapy can even help soften and liberate tissue that has become adhered to underlying tissue caused by scarring and burns.
Improve circulation, recovery time and immune system function
Massage therapy has been proven to boost immune system function. The lymphatic system is a significant aspect of the immune system that contains cells which help to guard us against illness and infection. Massage can increase the effectiveness of the immune system by increasing the distribution of lymphatic fluid.
Relax tight, tense muscles
When chronic tension builds up in the muscles it subsequently causes a decrease in circulation and nutrient delivery to tissues as well as by-product delivery away from the tissues. Massage therapy promotes blood flow to and from an area where circulation may be compromised, and also gently eases muscle tension.
Reduce symptoms of stress
People often talk about the psychological benefits of massage therapy. Prolonged periods of stress can negatively affect all body systems. Stress hormones can be detrimental to the body especially over long periods of time. Stress has been shown to aggravate, or even cause problems such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, memory loss, and decreased immune system function. Massage therapy can reduce symptoms of emotional stress, which in turn can reduce the production of stress chemicals in the body.