Massage is an effective form of treatment that has been used by humans for centuries to promote health and well-being. Over the years, massage therapy has evolved, both in terms of modalities and efficacy. Today it has become an integral part of the modern health industry. Remedial massage has gained a lot of respect and popularity in many developed countries including the USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It offers a safe, natural, and holistic approach to reducing/managing stress, pain, and muscle tension. However, many people still ask “is remedial massage effective?”
What Is Remedial Massage?
Remedial massage is a complementary therapy that involves methodological assessment as well as treatment of various musculoskeletal disorders and acute or chronic conditions.
Remedial massage can offer relief from a wide range of acute and chronic muscle and joint conditions. Some use it for general relaxation, while others rely on remedial massage to help them cope with specific musculoskeletal disorders/complaints.
There is a growing body of clinical research available showing that remedial massage is effective at treating muscle tension and improving the overall health and wellbeing.
Is It Effective; If So, For What Conditions?
Although there isn’t a great deal of research available regarding the effectiveness of remedial massage for the treatment/management of chronic muscular pain and improvement of general health and well-being; there is actually considerable evidence available that suggests that “advanced” techniques used by remedial massage therapists are effective at treating many musculoskeletal ailments that other massage types fail to address. Here is a brief outline of the benefits of remedial massage based on both scientific research and subjective experience.
Reducing Chronic Back Pain
A comparison study was conducted to find the effectiveness of two different kinds of massage techniques i.e. remedial massage v/s therapeutic massage and it was concluded that application of remedial massage treatment resulted in significantly better improvements in pain as compared to therapeutic massage treatment.
The study was carried out on a group of subjects with chronic back pain symptoms. Half of the participants received the remedial massage treatment while the other half received therapeutic massage treatment for 30 minutes daily for 10 days. Remedial massage treatment included oblique pressure and a combination of lengthening and cross-fiber strokes while therapeutic massage treatment used tapping and friction modalities. No other form of treatment was provided to the participants.
The results of the study were published in the journal “Studies in Health Technology and Informatics”.
The findings of another study that was published in 2014 in the journal “Scientific World” revealed that the application of remedial massage treatment alone had better positive effects in lowering pain and other symptoms in people affected with chronic back pain than therapeutic massage and NSAID used together.
Lowering Neck and Shoulder Pain
A recent survey shows that nearly 20%-50% of the global adult population is affected by shoulder and neck pain at some stage in their life.
A study was conducted in 2015 to find the efficacy of remedial massage in reducing the neck and shoulder pain and it was found that when combined with an ongoing exercise program (targeted towards the shoulder area) remedial massage offered benefits in reducing pain, improving range of motion and improving disabilities.
Similarly, the findings of another study that was carried out in 2017 show that remedial massage therapy is effective in releasing muscle tightness and improving shoulder flexion and abduction; both of which contribute greatly to pain and reduced range of motion in the upper body area.
Reducing Anxiety, Stress, and Muscle Tension
Studies have found that constant stress (work, family, or any other) is a major factor when it comes to poor health. The good news is that remedial massage is very helpful in de-stressing the body and mind and improving general health and wellbeing. This is because a session with an experienced massage therapist helps relieve muscle tension and stimulate blood flow while at the same time releasing serotonin and oxytocin (the happy hormones) and lowering psychological stress.
All in all, including a regular remedial massage sessions in your weekly or monthly schedule can help you manage or cope with many common or specific physical, mental or emotional problems. One of the best ways to answer the question “is remedial massage effective” is to come in and try it for yourself, many clients will see the benefits for themselves within a few sessions.