Massage: it’s medicine, not an alternative !

Could massage work as well as drugs for some health conditions?

An intriguing article in US News and World Report suggests that far from being just a pleasant experience, therapeutic massage could also be a powerful tool in the fight against illness and disease. Cases are cited of individuals suffering from debilitating conditions who have found that massage has played a crucial role in helping them manage their problems effectively. So what are the effects of massage and how might these be incorporated into a treatment regime that delivers lasting benefits in relieving a number of medical issues?

Physiological effects

The manipulation of soft tissue using a variety of pressures (which is essentially what massage consists of) has a number of demonstrable physiological effects. Increased blood flow, lymph movement, muscle relaxation and a reduction in the amount of cortisol the body produces are all proven responses to massage. In addition, studies have shown that massage can reduce inflammation (a key process in many different illnesses) and facilitate the growth of mitochondria, which are crucial to cell regeneration and repair. The simultaneous effect of all these processes is a demonstrable improvement in many medical conditions.

What could massage be used to treat?

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Massage is already a well-known and useful treatment option for back pain, sports injuries and the relief of mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Many people also find it of use in managing their stress levels and as a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle. In recent years, patients suffering from illnesses as diverse as fibromyalgia, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), migraines and insomnia have all found that massage has made a significant positive difference to their issues. Even if you suffer from a problem that hasn’t been mentioned, it’s always a good idea to contact a reputable practitioner to see what they can offer.

Different types of massage

There is sometimes confusion regarding which type of massage is “best” for therapeutic use. In general, the therapeutic effects of massage are similar regardless of what school of massage you decide on. Shiatsu massage, Swedish massage, pregnancy, Thai or deep tissue massage can all yield beneficial results. As long as the therapist is appropriately qualified, any of these massage approaches can work well.

Here is a video where you can learn about the common types of massage:

Significant evidence that massage can play a key role in the management of many medical conditions is prompting a growing number of individuals to consider it a useful tool in managing their health. If you or someone you know is suffering from a debilitating condition, it’s always worth considering massage as a helpful therapeutic option.

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