comprehensive health management
Massage Therapy (MT) has its roots in early forms of medical practice within various cultures in the world and is now growing and maturing as a health care profession in Canada and the USA (1). MT is the fastest growing and most common Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) modality used by millions of Canadians (2). MT is a health care practice that is complementary to modern conventional medicine and is also becoming a valued part of Integrative Medicine which is the combination of conventional and CAM treatments for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness (3).
When applied by a highly skilled and knowledgeable therapist, MT refers to a comprehensive health management strategy focusing on the application of various techniques to primarily affect the nervous system, soft tissues and joints of the body. Massage therapy techniques most commonly include kneading and compressing the muscles, tendons and fascia as well as gentle mobilization of the joints of the body. These strategies are used to reduce tension and restrictions in the body that may be causing pain and impairing function and movement. The careful application of soft-tissue manipulation promotes a positive effect on the mind and the body, alleviating manifestations of the stress response including the reduction of anxiety and depressive symptoms.
1 Grant KE, Balletto J, Gowan-Moody D, Healey D, Kincaid D, Lowe W, et al. Steps Toward Massage Therapy Guidelines: A First Report to the Profession. Int J Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 2008;1(1).
2. Nasmail E. Complementary and alternative medicine use in Canada: trends in use and public attitudes 1997-2006. Public Policy Sources. 2007;87.