How much do we know about massage therapy?
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, cancer, and¬†HIV/AIDS.
What do we know about the safety of massage?
Massage therapy appears to have few risks if it‚Äôs used appropriately and provided by a trained massage¬†professional.
What Is Massage Therapy?
The term ‚Äúmassage therapy‚Äù includes many techniques and the type of massage given usually depends on your needs and physical¬†condition.
What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Massage
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
Pain |Cancer | Mental¬†health | Fibromyalgia | Headaches | HIV/AIDS | Infant¬†care | Other¬†Conditions
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 for people with certain health¬†conditions.
Clients should 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.
- 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 any 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.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is a collection of evidence-based reviews produced by the Cochrane Library, an international non-profit organization. The reviews summarize the results of clinical trials on health care interventions. Summaries are free; full-text reviews are by¬†subscription¬†only.
Article adapted from www.nccih.nih.gov