Massage is an ancient healing practice. The instinct to touch or hold areas that are hurt transcends humanity and is seen broadly within the animal kingdom as well as having diverse cultural expressions.
Egyptian tomb paintings depict people massaging one another's hands and feet. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, commonly referred to as the Nei Ching, or Neijing, from around 2500 B.C. recommends massage. Hippocrates of Greece, the father of Western medicine, in the 5th century explains that physicians must surely be trained in techniques of massage for healing an array of problems. In Ayurveda, the traditional science of health in India, great emphasis is placed on massage as health maintenance.
Modern Research also notes that Massage Therapy is beneficial for a multitude of conditions. Scratching the surface, we know that it can:
Facilitate weight gain in preterm infants
Alleviate depressive symptoms
Reduce stress hormones
Improve immune function
Improve sense of well being
Increase athletic performance