Massage Therapy as Alternative Care

Massage has long been used to pamper the rich and relieve the stress from high powered executives. In recent decades, the benefits of massage have been brought to more and more people as it has become very affordable. Therapeutic massage in Garden Grove has now come to the forefront of medical research as an alternative to chemical stress mitigation and pain management. While the body of research on this new subject continues to grow, there is strong evidence that massage may benefit some patients with a variety of conditions.

Several studies of research support the general conclusion that massage therapy is an effective treatment for stress and anxiety. The studies included in the analysis suggest that even one session of massage therapy, also known as bodywork, can reduce an anxious reaction to a specific situation reducing blood pressure and heart rate. It has also been shown that multiple sessions can reduce general anxiety, depression, and some kinds of chronic pain. Therapeutic massage sessions have been studies in various ways including:

  • A 2008 review of more than a dozen clinical trials revealed evidence that therapeutic bodywork might be useful to help ease chronic low-back pain. Clinical practice guidelines issued in 2007 by leading industry professionals recommend that physicians consider using massage in conjunction with other alternative care methods acupunctureA family of procedures that originated in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body by a variety of techniques, including the insertion of thin metal needles though the skin. It is intended to remove blockages in the flow of qi and restore and maintawhen patients with chronic low-back pain do not respond well to conventional treatment.

  • A study conducted at multiple sites of more than 300 hospice patients with advanced stages of cancer concluded that massage helped to manage pain and improve the general state of mind for these patients.

  • A study of 64 patients with chronic neck pain concluded that therapeutic massage was most effective in terms of improving vertebrate function and mitigating painful symptoms and tension.

These and other studies have developed a number of differing theories about how massage therapy affects the body and its systems. One of the more prevalent assertions is known as the “Gate Control Theory.” Gate Control suggests that massage may provide stimuli to the nerve clusters that actually block pain signals sent to the brain. Other theories rest on the foundation that therapeutic bodywork releases certain chemicals such as serotonin or endorphins, or even cause systemic mechanical changes in the patient’s anatomical structures.

Massage therapy is quickly gaining popularity, not only among sufferers of chronic pain, but also the mainstream medical community. While more research needs to be completed, it has become an effective way to relieve many chronic pain symptoms.

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