Massage therapy is defined as the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining health. If we have restrictions in these tissues, the whole body is affected in some way.
The practice of massage dates back at least 5,000 years and is still considered an important modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat symptoms of illness. Modern research has shown that many physiological changes occur with massage beyond that of relaxation and pain reduction. These include: release of restrictions in soft tissue; removal of toxins in the body; enhanced blood circulation which in turn increases nutrients to organs and cells; reduced swelling; reduced blood pressure; endorphin release to allow for a general feeling of well-being; promoting sleep, an increase of the oxygen capacity in the blood; and generally promoting homeostasis or balance of the body for enhancing our own self healing mechanisms to name a few. Medical experts agree that the high levels of stress in our busy lives are responsible for 80% to 90% of the disease processes in our body. Massage therapy stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce these stress hormones and assist in combating the effects of daily stress on our body.