The term “massage therapy” includes many techniques, and the type of massage given usually depends on your needs and physical condition. Massage therapy dates back thousands of years. References to massage appear in ancient writings from China, Japan, India, and Egypt. In general, massage therapists work on muscle and other soft tissue to help you feel better. In Swedish massage, the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping. Sports massage combines techniques of Swedish massage and deep tissue massage to release chronic muscle tension. It’s adapted to the needs of athletes. Myofascial trigger point therapy focuses on trigger points—areas that are painful when pressed and are associated with pain elsewhere in the body. Massage therapy is sometimes done using essential oils as a form of aromatherapy.