Unfortunately, pain is an all too common experience for many people. For some, mitigating daily pain has become a lifestyle in and of itself.
Both chronic and acute forms of pain can affect the livelihood and mental outlook of sufferers and their families – contributing to depression, anxiety, reduced mobility, poor concentration and many other cascading effects.
It’s no wonder that pain relief is a huge industry that spans multiple healthcare fields and has spawned some truly questionable solutions.
MASSAGE AS AN EFFECTIVE METHOD FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT
Massage has been used to manage pain for thousands of years and personal accounts of its effectiveness have existed for nearly as long. However, it hasn’t been until recently that research has supported what so many have experienced.
A study published in the Journal of Pain Medicine conducted randomized controlled trials to determine the effectiveness of massage on pain and found that results demonstrate massage therapy effectively treats pain compared to sham, no treatment, and comparators.
The study conclusion states: Based on the evidence, massage therapy, compared to no treatment, should be strongly recommended as a pain management option.
Read the Study >>
BEYOND THE SPA
When many people think of massage, they conjure images of a vacationing woman, laying poolside on a table with a flower stuck behind her ear while a pair of delicate hands gently sweep over her exposed back.
For many, massage has been relegated to the category of the luxury spa experience without much thought toward any sort of therapeutic benefit. And certainly, massage can be the relaxing, stress relieving experience that many seek.
However, we are now seeing the re-emergence of therapeutic forms of massage as more health professionals realize how much deeper the massage experience goes – in the right hands.
In fact, according to the American Massage Therapy Association:
75% of the individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past 12 months was medical (including pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasm, injury recovery, migraines, and injury prevention).
61% of the individuals surveyed stated their physician has recommended they get a massage.
Individuals who receive massage are also looking for medical settings to receive their massages more than ever before (i.e. physical therapy offices, chiropractic offices, orthopedic offices, etc.).
MASSAGE WITH A PURPOSE
Now that more and more people are turning to non-pharmaceutical/non-invasive alternatives to pain management (and other health issues), therapeutic massage is finally getting the exposure it deserves as a useful tool for improving health.
While the spa experience will undoubtedly continue to be sought out by those looking for a relaxing experience, it is important to differentiate between this and more therapeutic forms – as the goal is often very different.
If pain relief/management is desired and to get the most out of a massage session, one should seek out a licensed massage therapist experienced in therapeutic techniques and who takes each client’s needs into consideration.
This post first appeared on Aug. 4 2017 - on MiracleMileWellness.com.
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