Massage therapy encompasses many different techniques. In general, therapists press, rub, and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. They most often use their hands and fingers, but may use their forearms, elbows, or feet.
The term “massage therapy” includes many techniques, and the type of massage given usually depends on your needs and physical condition.
A lot of the scientific research on massage therapy is preliminary or conflicting, but much of the evidence points toward beneficial effects on pain and other symptoms associated with a number of different conditions. Much of the evidence suggests that these effects are short term and that people need to keep getting massages for the benefits to continue.
Researchers have studied the effects of massage for many conditions. Some that they have studied more extensively are the following:
A 2010 review concluded that massage therapy may help temporarily reduce pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, but the evidence is not definitive. The authors noted that it’s important that the massage therapist not cause pain.
Clinical trials on the effects of massage for headaches are preliminary and only somewhat promising.
How Does Massage Therapy Work?
Some amount of scientific research has been done on massage therapies with focus on if and how they work. There is a mounting amount of evidence that points to the fact that massage therapies done by experts have positive effects on the body.
The science behind how such a therapy affects the body is pretty simple. Massage, no matter what kind, stimulates the system prompting the brain to block the pain signals emanating from a certain area. Through massage manipulation,a massage therapist can prevent pain signals from reaching the brain and activating the nerves.
Another aspect of its mechanism is chemical stimulation. Studies have shown that massage therapies stimulate the body to release a select few chemicals that have profound mechanical effects on the system. Massage therapy focuses on the release of serotonin and endorphins that are not only potential mood lifters, but are also capable of effecting beneficial changes to the body. In other words, massage therapies use the body’s own resources to heal itself internally.
Our acupressure massage therapy is especially beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain and discomfort. Performed a bit differently than standard massage, it helps relieve pain of years in just a couple of sessions.