Benefits of Therapeutic Massage

Posted in Case Study Eastern Medicine

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that massage therapy may be more effective in relieving back pain compared to traditiional interventions like bed rest and medications.

The study was conducted by the Group Health Research Institute. Participants in this study include 400 patients who are suffering from low back pain.

Majority of which are female, Caucasian and middle-aged. Through this study, they have discovered that patients who have received a series of structural and relaxation massage were able to work better and have been more active compared to those who were receiving traditional medical care like physical therapy, muscle relaxants and medications.

Participants of this study were randomly divided into 3 groups: traditional care, relaxation massage & structural massage. Patients who belonged in the massage groups received an hour of therapy each week for about 10 weeks.By the end of the 10 week period, more than 33% of the participants who were receiving massage therapy, reported that their back pain has improved or eliminated completly.

Meanwhile, only 25 participants reported an improvement from the traditional care group. Additionally, participants from the massage group have spent lesser days in bed and have participated in more activities compared to those who were receiving traditional care.

Despite its effectiveness, researchers were surprised to discover that relaxation massage was far more effective in relieving pain than structural massage. Relaxation massage, also know as Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, includes body wide relaxation; while structural massage involves manipulation of specific muscles and ligaments to address the pain.

The benefits of massage therapy have been evident even after the 10 week therapy has ended. As a matter of fact, participants from the massage group have shown improved functions 6 months after the study has begun.