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.

  • Massage therapy dates back thousands of years. References to massage appear in ancient writings from China, Japan, India, and Egypt.
    In general, massage therapists work on muscle and other soft tissue to help you feel better.
  • In Swedish massage, the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping.
  • Sports massage combines techniques of Swedish massage and deep tissue massage to release chronic muscle tension. It’s adapted to the needs of athletes.
  • Myofascial trigger point therapy focuses on trigger points—areas that are painful when pressed and are associated with pain elsewhere in the body.
  • Massage therapy is sometimes done using essential oils as a form of aromatherapy.

What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Massage

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:

Massage for Pain
  • A 2008 research review and 2011 NCCIH-funded clinical trial concluded that massage may be useful for chronic low-back pain.
  • Massage may help with chronic neck pain
  • Massage may help with pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Studies suggest that for women in labor, massage provided some pain relief and increased their satisfaction with other forms of pain relief, but the evidence isn’t strong.
Massage for Fibromyalgia

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.

Massage for Headaches

Clinical trials on the effects of massage for headaches are preliminary and only somewhat promising.

More to Consider

  • Do not use massage therapy to replace conventional care or to postpone seeing a physical therapist or doctor about a medical problem.
  • If you have a medical condition and are unsure whether massage therapy would be appropriate for you, discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.
  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will ensure coordinated and safe care.

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.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Improved circulation
  • Stimulation of the lymphatic system
  • Reduction of stress hormones
  • Relaxation
  • Increased joint mobility and flexibility
  • Improved skin tone
  • Improved recovery of soft tissue injuries
  • Heightened mental alertness
  • Reduced anxiety and depression.
  • Improves sleep
  • It boosts immunity
  • It relieves headaches.

Stay Active Physical Therapy Reviews

Client Reviews

To Learn More About Our Therapeutic Massage Services, please contact us at 1170 Sheppard Ave W #45 North York, ON M3K 2A3, Call Us On (416) 634-0005

Contact us