The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine writes that massage therapy has a long history in cultures around the world. Today, people use many different types of massage therapy for a variety of health-related purposes, "including to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address anxiety and depression, and aid general wellness." Massage therapy is often considered part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), in the United States. Science Daily has reported on Jan. 29, 2013, The Right Massage Can Relax the Body and Improve Health.
According to an expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), massage therapy can lower blood pressure, help prevent colds, enhance skin tone and more. Licensed massage therapist Arnold Kelly, who provides massage therapy at the Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic at the UAB Spain Rehabilitation Center, has discussed how massage provides two types of benefits: immediate and cumulative. Arnold has said, "Immediately following massage, you can experience reduced tightness in the muscles, improved blood flow and breathing, plus reduced anxiety and stress." He has gone on to say, "Over the long-term, the benefits of massage accumulate; massage can increase a person's range of motion, strengthen the immune system and provide an improved sense of well-being."
Arnold has also said that Swedish massage is very good for those who are interested in just relieving stress. He has gone on to explain that with deeper aches and pains, deep tissue can help take care of it. And he has pointed out that neuromuscular and trigger point therapy are the other two major types of massage that have proven to be universally helpful. Arnold has commented, "Clients often inquire about which form of massage therapy is right for them. What you should look for and ask about are things like: how long the type of massage therapy has been around; how long the massage therapist has practiced it; what it is based on; and whether it focuses more on the physical or mental aspect."