- Back pain . More than one study has shown the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain. In fact, one 2003 study showed it worked better than acupuncture or spinal modification for persistent low back pain — reducing the need for painkillers by 36%.
- Headache . Another type of pain — headache — also responds to massage therapy, as shown by more than one study. Massage therapy can reduce the number of migraines a person has and also improve sleep.
- Osteoarthritis . In the first clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of Swedish massage for knee osteoarthritis, participants who received a one-hour massage either one or two times a week had improvements in pain, stiffness, and function. The control group had no such change.
- Cancer. Used as a complement to traditional, Western medicine, massage can promote relaxation and reduce cancer symptoms or side effects of treatment. It may help reduce pain, swelling, fatigue, nausea, or depression, for example, or improve the function of your immune system.
- Anxiety. A review of more than 12 studies shows that massage helps relieve depression and anxiety. It lowered levels of cortisol by up to 50%. And massage increased levels of neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
From Web MD. The most startling number here – that it can lower cortisol levels by 50%. Goodbye grey hairs!! 😉 And if you have pain of any kind, to increase the levels of neurotransmitters to reduce depression is a wonderful thing. You may not be actively depressed but there is a reason drs prescribe antidepressants to pain patients. Remember, i am not a doctor. I just have enough experience as a pain patient to have my opinions.
Check with your doctor. I am not allowed to do deep tissue massage because of the RSD. But Swedish massage has really been helpful and i am trying to incorporate it more often. It has so many benefits and many people do not realize they have some massage under their health plan every year. You should check yours. I have some but the co pay is more than the place i go to around the corner.