The Power of Touch for Pain Relief
For centuries, massage therapy has been used to improve one’s quality of life and today, more than ever, people are discovering some of the rewards massages have to offer.
Rewards and Benefits such as:
- Increasing circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients to tissues and organs
- Stimulating the lymph system, the body’s natural defense, against toxic invaders
- Relaxing and softening injured and overused muscles
- Reducing spasms and cramping
- Increasing joint flexibility
- Releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller
- Reducing post-surgery adhesions and edema and reducing and realigning soft tissue after healing has occurred
- Improving range of motion and decreasing discomfort for patients- especially those with low back pain
- Relieving pain for migraine suffers and decreasing the need for medication
- Contributing to healthier pregnancies for expectant mothers, as well as lessening the need for medication, minimizing depression and anxiety and shortening hospital stays."As I see it every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself."
The Power of Touch for Pain Relief: Basic Facts
Massage is well known for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. And, a growing body of research also shows that massage therapy is effective for relieving and managing chronic and acute pain, a significant national health problem. According to the National Institute for Health, more than one-third of all Americans will suffer from chronic pain at some point in their lives, and approximately 14 percent of all employees take time off from work due to pain. Increasingly, massage therapists are being incorporated into pain management programs of hospitals and health care organizations. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has suggested massage therapy as one means to manage pain without use of pharmaceuticals.
Consider recent clinical research on the efficacy of massage for pain relief:
- Massage therapy is more effective for chronic back pain than other complementary therapies.
- Massage therapy promotes relaxation and alleviates the perception of pain and anxiety in cancer patients.
- Massage therapy reduces post-traumatic headaches better than cold pack treatments.
- A pilot study conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that massage, as part of hospital-based surgery treatment, reduces pain and muscle spasms in patients who have undergone heart bypass surgery.
- Massage stimulates the brain to produce endorphins.
How does massage relieve pain?
- A simple and direct strategy: working from the external, outer mechanisms of pain to the primary, root cause.
- Focuses on the entire body system and its relationship to soft tissue – not solely on the site of pain.
Benefits of massage for pain relief:
- Helps patients become more aware of their bodies and the sources of pain.
- Better familiarizes patients with the pain they experience.
- Has an impact on the patient by virtue of human touch. cope with their pain.
- Improves confidence by encouraging patients to effectively cope with their pain.