Massage therapy consists primarily of hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, specifically, the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints for the purpose of optimizing health.
Massage therapy treatment has a therapeutic effect on the body and optimizes health and well-being by acting on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. Physical function can be developed, maintained and improved; and physical dysfunction and pain and the effects of stress can be relieved or prevented through the use of Massage Therapy.
Modern massage techniques can be traced back to the 1700s and the development of Swedish massage, the first systematic method of therapeutic massage based on physiology. Today’s Massage Therapists use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology to combine traditional Swedish and modern Massage Therapy techniques with exercise and other therapies to treat their clients. taken from the CMTO web site http://www.cmto.com/about-the-profession/about-massage-therapy/