What is Massage Therapy?

Massage Therapy is recognized as one of the oldest effective methods of healing, with references to it in nearly every ancient and modern medical tradition. Massage Therapy, often called “bodywork”, refers to the application of various different techniques to the muscular structures and soft tissues of the body using the hands and forearms of the practitioner (some styles of Massage such as Thai or Shiatsu, also use the practitioner’s feet or knees to apply directed pressure).



Techniques used may include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding or rocking parts of the body, and applying vibration, friction, kneading or compression to the muscles. All these techniques are used for the benefit of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, and digestive systems. In many forms of Massage Therapy, oils or lotions are used to provide a comfortable experience, and to enable the Therapists’ hands to glide smoothly over the skin. Liniments and pain-relieving rubs are also often used, as is the application of cold or hot hydrotherapy. Massage Therapy has been shown to positively influence the overall health and well-being of the client by providing the following benefits:


  • Relaxes the entire body
  • Loosens tight muscles
  • Relieves tired and aching muscles
  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduces and relieves chronic pain
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Assists in recovery from injuries and illness
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Reduces frequency and severity of tension headaches
  • Reduces mental stress
  • Improves concentration
  • Promotes restful sleep

Massage can also be helpful to reduce the discomfort of pregnancy and labor; speed recovery after automobile accidents or other injuries; and to help alleviate the stress and side effects of chemotherapy. Additionally, gentle massage or bodywork is often soothing and comforting for those in hospice and end-of-life care.


Licensed Massage Therapists (L.M.T.s) in Oregon are required to have a minimum of 530 hours of training in Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Kinesiology, Communication, Ethics, Sanitation and Hydrotherapy. However, all of the Licensed Massage Therapists at Jade River Healing Arts Center have completed training programs with 800 or more hours of education, providing our clients and patients superior care and service.