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A recent article in US News & World Report (February 15, 2015) cited that massage therapy is increasingly being used, and widely accepted, as an alternative to traditional medical treatment. Massage can be a beneficial treatment for chronic back pain as well as a variety of other health issues.

Massage therapist clients often present themselves for therapy expressing issues relating to chronic pain in the areas of the neck, the shoulders, and the lower back. This pain is often vague and not constant, so it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the discomfort.

Often, it is determined through massage therapy that the pain may be a result of lifestyle factors rather than a serious medical issue. Some of those lifestyle factors include poor posture, sitting at a computer for lengthy periods of time, or bad sleep positioning. Other issues can be as simple as wearing high heels or carrying heavy bags or purses on one side of the body.

Regardless of a person’s age or overall physical health, anyone can get, and benefit from, massage therapy. Clients suffering from chronic medical issues need to make sure that they see a massage therapist specializing in medical massage, and should give their full health history and have their doctor’s consent prior to starting massage therapy as part of their treatment regimen.

Massage has been shown to help individuals suffering from many conditions including but not limited to pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ) and irritable bowel syndrome.  Massage therapy has also been proven to be beneficial for cancer patients in helping to cope with the side effects of their medical condition and treatment.

Research also indicates that massage therapy is able to help individuals with migraines, insomnia and other tension-related issues. Massage therapy also benefits post-operative patients. Massage has shown some potential to help with wound healing by increasing blood flow in patients recovering from surgery.

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