Using Massage for Pain Relief – Myths Debunked

Massage is a natural way to manage your pain

There are several myths surrounding the use of massage for pain relief. As it turns out, massage for pain relief has been used as early as 3,000 BCE when the first traces of massage emerged in India. Egypt and China were not far behind in using massage as a form of natural healing and pain relief. These early civilizations had no access to the luxury of modern medicine, when now our modern culture views massage as the luxury item.

So what if you could relieve your aches and pains, more fully and without medication? Massage has been shown to work for pain relief in many ways. From migraines to chronic back pain, massage can ease the tension in your muscles and your mind. When it comes to long term pain relief, you may be skeptical, but the following are debunked myths that may just change your mind:

Myth: Massage won’t help migraines

Fact: Migraine symptoms are believed to be produced by the way the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain function. When pressure is applied to certain points in the face, head, neck, and shoulders tension is released and pain signals are interrupted that would normally travel to the brain. Massage therapy is therefore an excellent complementary treatment for relieving pain due to migraine headaches.

Myth: The effects of massage for pain relief are only temporary

Fact: Muscle memory is a huge part of massage therapy and healing. When massage therapists work on a patient for pain relief they are retraining the muscle memory to reduce the pain and stress on a body. This means the effects of massage last much longer than just the massage itself. Regular massages are an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle especially for those suffering from chronic pain.

Myth: Feeling sore after a massage means “it worked”, so why would I use massage for pain relief?

Fact: There is a chance that one might feel a little sore the day after a massage. But, this is because massage for pain relief requires “working out” the muscles. Muscles are stretched and worked, attempting to retrain the muscle memory. This is all part of the process. When an athlete works out their muscles, they are sore because they are being built stronger. Massage for pain relief works the same way. Not feeling tender after a massage, on the other hand, is not a sign of a failed massage, and is perfectly normal.

Massage for Pain Relief Facts

If these debunked myths on massage for pain relief aren’t enough to convince you that you should use massage as a complement to treating your pain here are some facts:

  • 71% of doctors say that they have referred their patients to massage therapists
  • 54% of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2013 and July 2014 received it for medical or health reasons such as pain management, soreness/stiffness/spasms, injury rehabilitation, or overall wellness
  • 92% of American adults agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain
  • 17% of American adults discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care providers in 2014
  • 71% of American adults would like to see their insurance cover massage therapy
  • 96% of massage therapists believe massage therapy should be considered part of the health care field

If you need more convincing, just come in to your local Massage Envy clinic and try it out for yourself.


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