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ll massaggio (dal greco massein che significa "impastare", "modellare") è la più antica forma di terapia fisica, utilizzata nel tempo da differenti civiltà, per alleviare dolori e decontrarre la muscolatura allontanando la fatica. Oggi trova spazio all'interno della fisioterapia, della medicina alternativa e nei trattamenti estetici. Ne esistono infatti diversi tipi, con differenti finalità: distensivi, muscolari, sportivi, antidolore, drenanti, anticellulite.
Vengono anche considerati vicine al massaggio o ad esso assimilate, e talora praticate congiuntamente, tecniche fisiche o terapeutiche orientali come lo shiatsu, il massaggio thai o il massaggio ayurvedico. Esistono varie tipologie di massaggio: antidolore, anticellulite, antistress, estetico, curativo, sportivo. Esistono poi specifiche manovre per le donne in gravidanza, per i neonati o per gli anziani.

Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance the function and promote relaxation and well-being.The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle" or from Latin massa meaning "mass, dough" cf. Greek verb μάσσω (massō) "to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough". In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis, and the Latin was frictio.
Massage involves acting on and manipulating the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscle, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints or other connective tissue, as well as limphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointesinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows. There are over eighty different recognized massage modalities.The most cited reasons for introducing massage as therapy have been client demand and perceived clinical effectiveness.

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