Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references
in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. In fact, Hippocrates, known as the "father of
medicine," referenced massage when he wrote in the 4th century B.C.: "The physician
must be acquainted with many things, and assuredly with rubbing." Today, in addition
to "rubbing," massage therapy, often termed as bodywork or somatic therapy, refers to
the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the
body. These techniques include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibration,
rocking, friction, kneading and compression using primarily the hands. Massage therapists
do use other areas of the body such as the forearms, elbows or feet. All of the techniques
are used for the benefit of the musculoskeletal, circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other
systems of the body. In fact, massage therapy positively influences the overall health and
well-being of the client, here's how:

Currently, there are well over 100,000 massage therapists practicing in the
United States alone. Training requirements vary from state to state, although
an increasing number of schools and states recommend massage therapy
programs of at least 500 hours of training.