At Ryding2Health we now offer massage as part of our regular services, but what exactly can it do for you (apart from the obvious)? Well, here is what the research says.
What’s the Bottom Line? How much do we know about massage?
A lot of research on the effects of massage therapy has been carried out.
What do we know about the effectiveness of massage?
While often preliminary or conflicting, there is scientific evidence that massage may help with back pain and may improve quality of life for people with depression play many more diseases.
What do we know about the safety of massage?
Massage therapy appears to have few risks if it’s used appropriately and provided by a trained massage professional.
A lot of the scientific research on massage therapy is preliminary or conflicting, but much of the evidence points toward beneficial effects on pain and other symptoms associated with a number of different conditions. Much of the evidence suggests that these effects are short term and that people need to keep getting massages for the benefits to continue.
Researchers have studied the effects of massage for many conditions. Some that they have studied more extensively are the following:
- Mental health
- Infant care
- Other conditions:
Researchers have studied massage for the following but it’s still unclear if it helps:
- Behavior of children with autism or autism spectrum disorders
- Immune function in women with breast cancer
- Anxiety and pain in patients following heart surgery
- Quality of life and glucose levels in people with diabetes
- Lung function in children with asthma.
What the Science Says About the Safety and Side Effects of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy appears to have few risks when performed by a trained practitioner. However, massage therapists should take some precautions in people with certain health conditions. Training standards and requirements for massage therapists vary greatly by locality. If in doubt, ask your therapist whether your condition is within their scope of practice.
More to Consider
Do not use massage therapy to replace conventional care or to postpone seeing a health care provider about a medical problem.
If you have a medical condition and are unsure whether massage therapy would be appropriate for you, discuss your concerns with your health care provider, who may also be able to help you select a massage therapist.
Ask about the training, experience, and credentials of the massage therapist you are considering. Also ask about the number of treatments that might be needed, the cost, and insurance coverage.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will ensure coordinated and safe care.