Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for millennia in nearly every culture around the world.
I have been practicing massage for over 15 years. My massage training includes Conscious Bodywork (often compared to Swedish or Esalen style massage), Tui Na (Chinese orthopedic massage), acupressure and energy modalities, and massage for pregnancy, post-partum, and infants. The resulting massage approach is nurturing and intuitive, for a deeply healing experience. I usually use oil, and use deeper or lighter pressure depending on your comfort level.
Massage increases circulation, allowing the body to bring more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. Massage also stimulates the flow of lymph, to protect the body against toxins, and has even been shown to increase cells that fight cancer. Research has shown a wide variety of health benefits from massage: Massage benefits circulation, lowers blood pressure, relaxes muscles, benefits digestion, strengthens the immune system, increases cancer-fighting cells, boosts energy, alleviates pain, improves recovery from injury, can relieve migraines and asthma, facilitates easy labor, improves sleep, relieves stress, decreases anxiety, promotes a balanced and peaceful state of being, and is generally restorative to the body in a myriad of ways!
Best of all, massage feels wonderful, and is an enjoyable way to maintain and renew health.