Prolonged periods of stress can negatively affect many systems of the body.Stress has been shown to aggravate, or even cause, such problems as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, memory loss and decreased immune function. But it doesn't just contribute to physical ailments. Stress can drain the joy from your life, cause fatigue, and leave you less able to enjoy relationships, leisure activities & day to day life.The ones you love can become unfortunate victims of the stress in your life. You can find yourself left with no patience and less able to engage with the people you care about.Massage therapy is one of the best antidotes for stress. We know this is true on an intuitive level. If the hands of a friend or partner can soothe aches and pains and reduce anxiety, then imagine the effect of a therapeutic massage by a trained practitioner. The rituals of massage come as a welcome break from our busy lives: reduced lighting, soothing music, the pleasant fragrance of a mild oil or candle - even without massage, these things might help you relax! But coupled with the right massage techniques you will actually feel the stress leaving.Massage boosts the immune system, which can become compromised from extended periods of stress. Tension can build up in the muscles, causing a decrease in circulation and nutrient delivery to tissues.Manipulation of the soft tissue decreases muscular tension, increases removal of metabolic waste and promotes nutrient delivery to healing tissue. Knots in your muscles can inhibit your ability to perform regular, daily tasks. As other parts of your body try to compensate for the ache of a tight muscle, they also start to become tight and uncomfortable. Before long, an injury that began in your neck can trace to your shoulder, down your arm and into your wrist. The reaction chain can take innumerable forms, but none of them are pleasant.With a therapeutic massage, stress can be significantly reduced. This will increase energy, improve your outlook on life, and in the process boost your immune system function. Coupled with modest changes in nutrition and activity levels, massage can be the start of a profound change for the better in your health and well-being.