Massage therapy is about more than relaxation, says Pat Collins, a member of the American Massage Therapy Association and licensed massage therapist in Johnson City, N.Y.
“People don’t realize that it can help people with things like fibromyalgia,” Collins said. “It sounds like massage is becoming more and more recognized as treatment in addition to relaxation, and I think we’re being more recognized in the medical community as alternative therapy.”
Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of the soft tissue of the body — such as muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments — to promote well-being and health. It is a complementary and alternative medicine, which means that it is used in addition to or in place of traditional medicine. It’s often used to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address anxiety and depression, and aid general wellness, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a federal government agency that researches complementary and alternative medicine.