What is Massage Therapy? Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for centuries in nearly every culture around the world. It helps relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and evoke feelings of calmness. Although massage affects the body as a whole, it particularly influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems.