"Does massage therapy work?"
The short answer is yes. Licensed 'deep tissue massage' has been shown to have more dependable results, but is also partly based on the expertise level of the practitioner.
Every modality and tool in massage therapy has their own efficacy rates. Each of them have their own purposes and uses. For example, an opening gliding stroke in massage therapy, that’s designed to help the person relax is called effleurage. Its strength is in warming up the tissue before deeper work can be done. But it has no permanent mechanical changes in itself. Which is why, at Interventional Wellness, we love to include a mix of tools and modalities masterfully to the point where we hope to help raise massage therapy standards across the world.
Healing in general began as far back as we recorded history. Chinese medicine, for instance, is estimated to go back thousands of years. The study of various ailments, pathologies, pain or recoveries we can go through has long been studied by our species.
Despite massage therapy being well studied in various parts of the world, it didn't become popular until about 1970 to 2000 in America, and with similar timings across the world. Ever since it has become licensed and regulated across the world, it standards and efficacy have been increasing at an impressive rate. Through history, there were many ineffective healers, or barely trained massage therapists, that had much more to learn but swore they represented the entire industry. Fake healers have hurt the health industry far more than its toughest opponents could have ever dreamed of because they have greatly slowed down the union of Western and Eastern combined approaches. Most doctors that prescribe muscle relaxants instead of referring to massage therapists, are not part of some sort of conspiracy to keep the patient down, but themselves have simply not yet experienced what effective massage can do.
Now today more and more hospitals and doctors are openly referring to massage therapists, and many even including in-house massage therapy of their own.
The AMTA is an organization with the aims of elevating the education and standards of massage therapy, of which I am an honorary board member. And it is their passion to fight to raise standards people expect when they see a licensed massage therapist.
Research shows that massage therapy is able to improve conditions with people suffering from chronic pain, recovery, mental health and much more. This2017 study showed clinical benefits of massage therapy with ankylosing spondylitis. This study showed that deep tissue massage was effective for lower back pain. And countless others are showing more and more positive results with a host of pathologies that massage therapy is added to an overall wellness design.
For now, getting a deep tissue massage relaxation massage for stress are good place to start as time goes on the efficacy and reliable results of the massage therapy world can only increase as we try out new inspiring combinations of modalities shown to have the strongest and most dependable overall effects.