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 massageMassage 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:
- Digestive disorders
- 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 massageMost 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
- Severe osteoporosis
- Severe thrombocytopeniaDiscuss 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 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/massage/art-20045743