Defined as the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues, massage therapy is a clinically oriented health care option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular overuse and many chronic pain conditions. The objective is achieving optimal health by normalizing these tissues using manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure. The practice involves working and acting on the body with pressure — structured, unstructured, stationary or moving — tension, motion or vibration. Touch is the primary medium of massage therapy. Massages can also be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet or a massage device. The basic philosophy behind massage therapy is strengthening the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Massage therapy in Canada is a growing and dynamic profession. Ontario’s massage therapists are primarily self-employed health professionals — they assess and treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries and chronic conditions and work to maintain the optimal health and wellness of their clients.