Benefits and Risks of Massage Therapy

Is massage beneficial to most people?  YES

Are there risks involved?  YES, typically due to existing medical conditions

As with most remedial therapies, massage comes with both benefits and risks associated with the treatment.  While the pros and cons remain a topic for debate, the Mayo Clinic provided the following list of benefits and risks of massage therapy in it’s online article titled “Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits”:

Benefits of massage

 Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

 While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.


Risks of massage

 Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:
  • Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
  • Burns or healing wounds
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Fractures
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Severe thrombocytopenia
Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or you have cancer or unexplained pain.

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage

So, the next time you visit your massage therapist, be sure to share any medical conditions.  We want to keep you safe and can typically find an alternative therapy (i.e. reflexology, shiatsu, acupressure, etc.) to suit your needs.

I hope you found this post helpful.  Please comment below with any feedback or suggested topics.

To read the full Mayo Clinic article

22 thoughts on “Benefits and Risks of Massage Therapy”

  1. Getting a massage is a wonderful thing! There are so many benefits to getting one that it’s a wonder everyone doesn’t do so regularly.

  2. I was very surprised to learn that massage therapy has been seen to help with digestive problems! My brother has been experiencing some digestive issues for the past couple of weeks, and he wants to try some inexpensive options to fix it before going to the doctor. I will be sure to suggest to him that massage therapy might be a good way for him to fix his digestive problems!

  3. It got me when you said that massage therapies will not only treat diseases, but it can also help a person feel relaxed and cared for. I will definitely try this out since I have been really stressed out a lot with work, and it has been affecting my sleep. I usually had to think about the tasks I need to finish for the next day which makes me restless and only sleep for a couple of hours.

  4. I like how you mentioned that massages can help anxiety. I have had horrible anxiety all of my life, and have been looking for ways to help it. I will definitely keep your benefits and information about massages in mind when considering if it’s something I should do.

  5. It’s nice to read the benefits of a massage. You said that massages are helpful for insomnia related to stress. This is great to know because I have been so stressed lately, which really affects my sleeping habits! I’m really stressed about work, but also my love life. I’m going to look for a place near me that can help me with this.

  6. I love that massages can help with anxiety. This is a great insight for anyone that might be struggling with the issues that anxiety can bring. My sister might like knowing this as she looks for a massage therapy service.

  7. It’s interesting to know that massage therapy can help me reduce my stress levels. I think it would help me a lot since I have anxiety. Since it can give me feelings of comfort, I’m sure that I’ll be able to let my mind feel at ease, so I’ll go to a massage parlor next week.

  8. I agree that massage therapy helps a person to deal with the anxiety, stress and other health-related issues. It has been found that massage therapy has a significant positive influence on the immune system of a person. Besides, massage therapy also helps to remove the damaged skin cells and helps to strengthen it. Massage therapy also plays a critical role to strengthen the muscular and cardiovascular system of the body.

  9. It’s awesome that massage therapy can help you with anxiety issues. My nephew has some severe social anxiety, and I want to make sure that he can get the help that he needs for it. I’ll share this information with him so that he can look further into his options for getting massage therapy in the future.

  10. One of my cousins often suffers from body aches due to him lifting heavy weights at work. Thanks for saying that massage is helpful in treating soft tissue strains that his body has. I think that this may have some therapeutic benefits for him as well, so I’ll help him find someone he can trust.

  11. I had no idea that massages can help with headaches! Recently, I’ve been having really bad headaches all the time, and don’t know what to do about them. After learning about all of the many benefits of massages, I will definitely consider getting one to help with my headaches.

  12. Thank you for explaining the benefits of massage therapy. My friend suggested that I get massage therapy but I wanted to know what it would do for me. I will look into getting massage therapy soon.

  13. I like what you said about getting a massage since it can help with your anxiety. My sister has been telling me about how she’s been feeling anxious for the last few days. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for professionals who can help her with this.

  14. I’ve been planning to have a massage because there’s been a slight pain on my lower back. I never knew that aside from what I’ve mentioned above, massages can also help with reducing stress and muscle tension. Surprisingly, massages may help with anxiety, insomnia, and digestives disorders problems.

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  17. My aunt has been thinking about getting a massage to loosen her muscles. She would really like to have it done by a professional to help her feel better. I liked what you said about how it can help reduce anxiety, headaches, and sport injuries.

  18. My sister would like to try massage therapy that will help aid her back pain. Well, I also agree with you that this may help ease anxiety and headaches. Thank you for clarifying here as well that it’s still if she’ll consult with a doctor before trying the massage, especially if a medical condition is involved.

  19. Insomnia being something that massage therapy can help you with really caught my attention. My sleep pattern has been ruined lately, and I can easily see myself experiencing more and more rough mornings if I don’t do anything about it. I’ll go and look for a massage therapy provider in the area right away so they can help me out with this.

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