Is massage good for my type of pain?
“Is massage good for _____ pain?” Fill in the blank with “shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist, arthritis, fibromyalgia,” or pretty much anything else, and the answer remains the same: Probably, yes!
How can I make such a bold statement? Because the effectiveness of massage isn’t based on my ability to tune you up like a mechanic. I can help your back pain without knowing which individual spinal muscle is in spasm; I can help with post-surgical pain without breaking up the scar tissue involved.
The active ingredients of massage, the ones that would be listed on the label if you could bottle it, are “informed contact” and “time.” Countless studies have found that, no matter the kind of massage being delivered, and no matter for what condition, pain is reduced by regular sessions over the course of several months. Yes, that goes for plain old Swedish massage. Several studies have shown it to be useful for knee and hip osteoarthritis, despite no interaction with the joint tissue itself!
How? Well, one way that massage works is by reducing the sensitivity of your pain receptors. Think of it as lowering the volume on loud music. If you’ve got those two active ingredients listed above, a massage regimen will probably work for your pain, decreasing your sensitivity over time.
Am I more effective because I know the root cause of different kinds of pain? I think so. For instance, I know that the levator scapulae muscle is probably what’s causing your neck crick, and that the hip muscles tend to contribute to low back pain. I can spend more time applying informed contact to those areas, and I can recommend more effective self-care, resulting in better outcomes for you.
There are some people who are very sensitive to massage and find that even the gentlest massage is too much for their pain tolerance (maybe you have fibromyalgia, or a recent injury). Rest assured that there are other forms of massage that can be done that are extremely gentle and can have profound effects on the body. Acupressure uses very gentle finger pressure and works on the body’s energy channels; Reiki can be performed without even touching the body and can bring healing and a immense state of relaxation to the body; and Reflexology can be performed on the hands and feet and can send signals to other parts of the body to encourage self-healing.
Interested in giving remedial massage a shot? Click the “book now” button to see my current availability and to book right online. I look forward to seeing you!