Does massage therapy work?

Reduce pain and muscle pain and tension. massage therapy relaxes muscle tissue, reducing painful contractions and spasms.

Does massage therapy work?

Reduce pain and muscle pain and tension.

massage therapy

relaxes muscle tissue, reducing painful contractions and spasms.


can also reduce nerve compression. To understand this, consider that when muscles contract, they sometimes compress the nerves around them.

When these muscles are relaxed, the nerves are no longer compressed and, in theory, can get the right nutrients and work more efficiently. Nerves can take on their normal job of transmitting messages to and from the brain, which improves the functioning of muscles and organs. Australian study found that a 10-minute muscle massage after a workout could reduce pain by 30%. A separate review study on massage found that levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, decreased 31% after a massage, while levels of feel-good hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, increased by approximately 30%.

The latest research has shown (at the cellular level) that massage therapy helps the body heal. Even after a session, the body begins to respond to massage therapy. Researchers did blood and muscle tests on people before and after vigorous training; one group received massage therapy after exercise and the other group did not. The results of the 'after massage' surprised researchers.

Post-massage blood and muscle tissue showed an increase in a gene responsible for mitochondria development. Mitochondria are known for cell growth and energy production. Lifting and kneading muscle tissue (common Swedish and deep tissue technique) was also shown to “turn off” genes associated with inflammation. The research also contradicted a long-believed idea that massage therapy expels lactic acid from muscles.

There is no medical proof of this, and most doctors agree that it is highly unlikely. However, a massage will help increase blood flow to all parts of the body, which can promote healing of areas affected by the injury. The shift from optimism to pessimism is fascinating and caused some anguish in the small community of massage therapists who pay attention to research. Enthusiastically approving such poor quality information is a disturbing sign of how far the massage therapy profession has to go before it can be taken seriously as a full partner in healthcare.

The results were the same, clearly showing that a typical selection of structuralist massage techniques was not a stitch more effective than simple relaxation massage. Massage is a profoundly valuable service, regardless of the specific effects it has on pain, tissue, or disease. A relaxation massage course, using techniques commonly taught in massage schools and widely used in practice, had similar effects to structural massage, a more specialized technique. Trigger points can respond to massage, and that's certainly my impression after three decades of rubbing my own trigger points and trying to help other people with theirs.

In this case, they may have regretted saying “massage is beneficial based on inadequate evidence in the past, because in fact they had to retreat their optimism as more data came in. Meanwhile, bad massage therapists oversell a limited selection of less effective, mostly faith-based options, and generally lack the training or critical thinking skills to recognize their own limitations. And that would turn it into a negative study, finding confirmation of the absence of massage effect for back pain. Most work in spas or resorts and on cruise ships, performing treatments that are notoriously spongy and deep, with little therapeutic value than the comfort of a quiet hour of touching (although many patients find deep skin massage more annoying than anything else).

And almost everything worthwhile about massage is probably thanks to being artfully touched, which you can get from almost any method. I doubt I personally know of a skeptical masseuse who isn't already there, if you want, but you may have readers who qualify. It is a rather surprising result that applies a strong push to the side of this classic sacred cow of the massage tradition. .


LaDonna Petrea
LaDonna Petrea

Passionate food expert. Total tv lover. Passionate food nerd. Lifelong internet fan. Wannabe web expert. Unapologetic web fan.

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