Massage Therapy. It’s not just a Luxury

For many years, massage has been viewed as a stress relieving luxury. However, in the past decade or so, the general public and other healthcare professionals are starting to recognize that massage therapy is an effective healthcare approach. Massage therapy, along with chiropractic, physical therapy and other natural health modalities are being sought out more often as an alternative option to prescription drugs and surgery. Massage therapy is different from any other health care modality, as the therapist often spends an hour in constant physical contact during the course of treatment. Massage therapy has proven to be a very effective course of treatment for an injury, such as frozen shoulder, or an illness, such as fibromyalgia. A doctor (medical or chiropractic or other) should be contacted to rule out contraindications before starting a treatment program.

Frozen shoulder is a term used to describe conditions that result in pain in the shoulder joint. Pain often starts as a result of trauma to the shoulder, poor posture or pathological issues, or it may appear for some unknown reason. As the name suggests, over time restriction or adhesions of the joint capsule develop, resulting in reduced movement of the shoulder, accompanied with pain upon movement in certain directions. A massage treatment program over a period of time, with the approval of a physician, can be very effective in improving the range of motion and pain associated with a frozen shoulder.

A case study of a 55-year-old woman who developed a frozen shoulder, as the result of a trauma to the shoulder, is an example of how massage can be a beneficial therapy. She was unable to lift her arm to more than one inch in abduction away from her hip (abduction is the movement of a limb away from the body). With the encouragement and approval of her doctor, she received a therapeutic massage once a week for three months. After three months, she had little to no pain remaining and was able to lift her arm up to her ear. Fibromyalgia is another chronic condition where massage therapy has been known to alleviate pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and joints. While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, many sufferers experience sleep disturbance, morning stiffness, tingling, anxiety, and depression. Gentle massage work is vital in the healing process providing much needed stress relief and relaxation.

Massage therapy can benefit many different injuries and illnesses. Discuss potential treatment options with your healthcare team.


  1. Massage Therapy- An Approach to Treatments by Fiona Rattray RMT

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