Overview

In massage therapy, a trained, certified medical professional (massage therapist) manipulates the soft tissues of your body — muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin. The massage therapist uses varying degrees of pressure and movement.

Massage is generally considered part of integrative medicine. Medical centers are offering it more and more as a treatment along with standard treatment. It may be used for a wide range of medical conditions.

Studies of massage benefits have found massage can:

  • Help reduce stress
  • Lessen pain and muscle tension
  • Increase relaxation
  • Improve immune function

At Mayo Clinic, medical professionals may recommend massage therapy to help people cope with the pain and stress of various conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, stomach problems or fibromyalgia.