Massage is Good MEDICINE!
How many times have you had an ache in your back or neck, and asked your spouse or friend to “rub my neck” or “rub my back?” Instinctively we understand that massaging sore and achy muscles is good medicine. Unfortunately, we think of having a massage by a professional as “pampering” and a luxury we should not indulge in. Nothing could be further from the truth!
We don’t feel bad about eating to fill a growling stomach, we don’t feel bad about exercise that benefits our body, and we don’t feel bad about taking medicine (that has potential to harm the body) to mask the very pain we are discussing!
Recent research shows the medicinal benefits of therapeutic massage. Just some of the benefits discovered are:
- Boost in the immune system of women with breast cancer
- Asthma in children improves
- Carpel tunnel patients get a firmer grip
- Premature infants gain weight faster
- Improvement of low back pain
- Reduction in cortisol
- Decrease in inflammation and allergic reactions
- Increase in white blood cells
Studies are showing that both chiropractic care and massage, benefit the entire body, regardless of the area being worked on. Since the neuro-muscular system works as a whole, taking the benefits from intervention on one area, brings relief to others. This is a bit like removing a blockage in a pipe, which allows the flow to be restored on down the line.
In fact, the American Pain Society states the following on their Consumers Guide Practice Guidelines for Low Back Pain:
“Recommendation 7: For patients who do not respond to self-care, consider the addition of non-pharmacologic therapy with proven benefits."
- For acute lower back pain: spinal manipulation.
- For chronic or sub-acute lower back pain: intensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation, exercise therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, yoga, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or progressive relaxation.
According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, massage therapy has proven efficacy for osteoarthritis of the knee. Dr. Perlman, author of the study, says “If (massage) works, then it should become part of the conventionally recommended intervention for this condition and if it doesn't work we should let (patients) know so they won’t waste their time and money.”
Another study of great interest was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in February 2012, concerning the benefits of massage, post exercise. Eleven men were asked to exercise to exhaustion, and then one leg was massaged. Biopsies were taken from that leg before exercise, after the massage, and again two and a half hours post massage. Results showed that the massage created an increase of the energy producing cells, the mitochondria, proving the effects of massage.
Of course, all of this is of no surprise to those who know the benefits first hand. Wellspring Family Chiropractic has two wonderful and highly trained massage therapists. Give us a call to experience the benefits for yourself.
To learn more about massage and our therapists, see the "MASSAGE" tab on our home page.