For many years, massage has been utilized as a form of stress relief and eliciting deep relaxation on the body. Nonetheless, recent studies have indicated that the massage therapy can be used to ease pain on the body and enhance healing in sore muscles.
Notably, the researchers at the McMaster University, in Canada found that massage influences the activity of certain genes in the body, directly resulting in less inflammation on the muscles. These researchers noted that massage could have the same impact as that you get when you take ibuprofen or aspirin.
How Massage Eases Pain
Massage function to ease pain in a variety of ways. Massage can increase the flow of blood in the sore and stiff muscles or joints, which are as a result warmed by the extra blood. As indicated by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, massage can also trigger the release of natural pain killers known as opioids from the brain. Studies indicate that massage increases the flow of oxytocin, a hormone responsible for relaxing the body muscles and encouraging the feelings of contentment and calmness.
How Effective Is Massage For Pain Relief?
There is little doubt that a good massage can ease tightness and pain in overworked and stressed muscles. Much the same way, there is a growing body of evidence that massage can also help ease chronic pain, particularly at the lower-back. A study consisting 262 patients, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicated that massage is by far more effective than acupuncture. After just ten weeks of massage, 74 percent of the patients reported to have had their pain eased. On the other hand, it was only 46 percent of the patients whose back pain was treated by acupuncture reported similar results. Interestingly, massage patients were indicated to be four times less likely to be bedridden than other patients. Because of these encouraging results, the authors of this study concluded that massage could be a perfect alternative to conventional medical methods for chronic back pain.
Is Massage A Safe Method?
Yes! Massage is a safe method, particularly when undertaken by an experienced and licensed practitioner. However, it is not entirely risky free. One study recorded in the journal of Rheumatology indicated that 16 cases where massage resulted in serious injuries to the patients, which included nerve damage and bruised liver. This study concluded these incidences are rare and are most likely to happen in the hands of lay practitioners.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine warns against using massage in cases of burns, deep vein thrombosis, skin infections, open wounds, eczema, broken bones, and advanced osteoporosis.
Similarly, patients suffering from cancer should consult with their oncologists regarding the safety of using massage therapy to ease their pain. Sometimes massage therapy can cause internal hemorrhage or perhaps the dislodging of blood clots on cancer patients. Therefore, the cancer patients are advised to request a referral to a message practitioner who is certified in oncology massage.
Which Massage Therapy Works Best?
There is no clear evidence linking to any particular massage to the best results. However, a study conducted in 2006 on back pain showed that pressure point or acupressure may be relatively more effective than the Swedish technique of kneading and rubbing.
For many years, mainstream medicine has dismissed massage as a genuine therapy, but these findings clearly indicate massage therapy as one of the effective methods for easing pain. By consulting a specialist massage therapist and securing a perfect massage chair, you will be assured of getting promising results.