According to the 2007 Fraser Institute report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Canada11, 35% of Canadians and 38% of Manitobans have used massage therapy in their lifetime, and the top 3 health conditions for which people seek massage therapy treatment are:
- Back or neck problems (39%)
- Relaxation (8%)
- Muscle problems (6%)
Tremendous benefits may be achieved through regular massage therapy treatments from a Registered Massage Therapist. Whether you need to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension or attain relief from chronic pain, a therapeutic massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being as well as your quality of life.
Massage therapy has a wide range of benefits for the health and wellness of people of all ages, including infants, children, older adults, pregnant women, athletes, office workers, and so on. These benefits are known to include: effective reduction and management of pain, alleviation of depression and anxiety, improved immune function and increase in ‘natural killer cells’, reduction of inflammation, facilitation of weight gain in pre-term infants, improved body awareness and body image, decreased body dissatisfaction in patients with eating disorders, decrease in stress hormones, enhanced healing of burns and scar tissue, improved sleep, reduction of muscle tension, improved joint mobility, improved posture, and improved lymphatic drainage.
Massage therapy can be used in the treatment of both acute and chronic stages of conditions. While massage therapy can benefit the injured, the ill and the stressed, the strength of massage therapy in preventing illness and conditions before they develop should not be overlooked.
The therapeutic benefits of massage continue to be researched. Recent research indicates the effectiveness of massage therapy for the following conditions:
- Cancer-related fatigue.1
- Low back pain.2
- Osteoarthritis of the knee.3
- Reducing post-operative pain.4
- Boosting the body’s immune system functioning.5
- Decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.6
- Lowering blood pressure.7
- Reducing headache frequency.8
- Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.9
- Decreasing pain in cancer patients.10
1. Currin, J. Meister, E.A. (2008) A hospital-based intervention using massage to reduce distress among oncology patients. Cancer Nurs. 31(3):214-21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18453878?ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
3. Perlman AI, Sabina A, Williams AL, Njike VY, Katz DL. (2006) Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Arch Intern Med. 166(22):2533-8.
4. Piotrowski, M., Paterson, C., Mitchinson, A., Kim, H. M., Kirsh, M., Hinshaw, D. B. (2003) Massage as Adjuvant Therapy in the Management of Acute Postoperative Pain: A Preliminary Study in Men. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 197(6), 1037-1046.
5. Rapaport, M. H., Schettler, P., Bresee, C. (2010) A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(10), 1-10.
6. Field, T., Diego, Miguel, Cullen, Christy, Hartshorn, Kristin, Gruskin, Alan, Hernandez-Reif, Maria, Sunshine, William. (2004). Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are lessened following massage. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 8:9-14. http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/pdf/Massage%20and%20carpal%20tunnel%20syndrome.pdf
7. Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Krasnegor J, Theakston H, Hossain Z, Burman I (2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31 – 38.
8. Quinn C, Chandler C, Moraska A. Massage Therapy & Frequency of Chronic Tension Headaches. (2002) American Journal of Public Health. 92(10):1657-61
9. Reader M, Young R, Connor JP. (2005) Massage therapy improves the management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. J Altern Complement Med. 11(2):311-3. PMID: 15865498.
10. American College of Physicians. (2008) Massage Therapy May Have Immediate Positive Effect On Pain And Mood For Advanced Cancer Patients. Science Daily 16 September. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915174534.htm.