The techniques of therapeutic massage and bodywork as we know them today have been practiced for over 120 years and widely accepted as the most effective alternative medical treatment in the last several decades. This is because the treatment of stress requires the trained hands of a Registered Massage Therapist to attack the root of the problem, namely the muscles and connective tissue that store the stress when signals from nervous system tighten the body and hamper the natural flow of life energy (known as "Chi" in Asian medicine and martial arts). Like most medical treatments the Chinese were doing it in 3000 BC but the Western world developed massage techniques in Sweden in 1813 where massage movements were studied and systematized into what we now call "Swedish massage". Massage therapy is defined as the application of physical touch to affect the systems of the body and the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body with the hands for therapeutic, relaxation, and pleasurable effects.

Stress is a killer and weakens the immune system; it also can lead to depression, impotence, drug dependence, alcoholism, and violence. When tension mounts and is stored in the body tissue a chronic problem develops and nothing seems to go right in the person's life. The fast pace of modern living requires accelerated activity and a higher-than-normal load of problem-solving to be carried out and deadlines to meet. We are faced each day with frustrations in traffic, on transit lines, at the office, and with family members at home. Fortunately those of us who are health conscious can get relaxation massage treatments on a regular basis so that life can be easier to deal with and overall health can be improved.

Massage therapy has helped those with arthritis, eating disorders, depression, and back pain. The RMT will target tissues like muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and other connective tissue underneath the top layer of muscles. The elderly are finding that regular massage treatments allows them more freedom of movement and some relief from the constant pain of arthritis that is so hard to escape. Treatments can alleviate some of the side effects of cancer and post-operative pain. Massage can reduce anxiety; it can lower the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome and treat migraines.

Posture becomes worse as a person gets older and massage therapists work to take away the lower back pain that can cause a person to over-compensate and put the spine out of alignment even further in an attempt to avoid painful positions. Injury rehabilitation is another area where bodywork can speed healing. The Olympic Games has used massage since 1996 as an official core therapy for the athletes competing. It has been shown that those competing after a massage are able to run faster, jump higher, and show increased performance. In fact every system of the body is improved with treatment.

The future of alternative medical treatment through massage therapy will see an even greater increase in popularity as patients become more disillusioned with dependence on pharmaceuticals and surgical operations for certain conditions. There is the appeal of having someone else do the work; most people don't have the time or determination to take up Tai Chi or other exercises to ease some of the body's problems as it grows older.

Author's Bio: 

SEO Consultant Pat Boardman presents these facts and opinions in regards to the Myocare Massage Therapy clinic where RMTs perform deep tissue massage, swedish massage, myofascial release, sports massage, and pregnancy massage in the Annex district of Toronto.