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. In the UK massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure. Techniques are commonly applied using hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet, or a device.
The purpose of massage is generally promoted as treatment for stress or pain. Massage therapy involves the rubbing and kneading of soft tissues and muscles in the human body. People state that they use massage because they believe that it relieves pain from musculoskeletal injuries and other causes of pain, reduces stress and enhances relaxation, rehabilitates sports injuries, decreases feelings of anxiety and depression, and increases general well being.
In professional settings massage clients are treated while lying on a massage table, sitting in a massage chair, or lying on a mat on the floor, while in amateur settings a general purpose surface like a bed or floor is more common. Aquatic massage and bodywork is performed with recipients submersed or floating in a warm-water therapy pool.