Overview

Massage therapy is a type of treatment in which a trained and certified medical professional manipulates the soft tissues of your body — muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin — using varying degrees of pressure and movement.

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and integrative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. At Mayo Clinic, massage therapy may be recommended to help people cope with the pain and stress of cancer, heart disease, stomach problems, fibromyalgia or other conditions.

Mayo Clinic's approach