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The Pain Relief Properties of Massage
For those who are not aware, appropriate massage therapy can help those who suffer from pain and the associated muscle tension that those who suffer from diseases like osteoarthritis feel. Joint pain is another common ailment that massage can relieve. Massage can boost your circulation that will decrease the symptoms of joint stiffness and promotes cartilage repair. The therapist will not massage the inflamed joint but the muscles that surround the affected joint. Those who are in pain reduce their movement and physical activity levels. Reduced activity level increases stiffness and pain. It’s a vicious cycle.

Note: Do visit a qualified massage therapist. Check their credentials if need be. A non-qualified massage therapist can cause further pain by using the wrong technique.

How does massage break the pain sensation that an affected area sends out? The massage and rubbing interferes with the pain signals that are making there way to the brain. Massage also stimulates endorphins, which are morphine-like substances that relieve pain. Massage also puts the patient into a very relaxed state, and improves circulation which gives more oxygen and other forms of nourishment to the muscles which then relax and decreases the sensation of pain. Some of the additional benefits of massage for those who suffer with arthritis are that it can soothe stiff muscles, reduce the inflammation and swelling of joints and gently stretch or maintain the range of motion for joints.

Pain relief from massage depends on several factors. These factors include the type of massage being done, the reason for pain management, and the knowledge or level of skill of the massage therapist. All of these factors combined is what leads to pain relief for the client.

One massage method that is especially useful for those that suffer the pain of arthritis is Swedish massage. This type of massage is also called "classic" massage. What you will experience as a massage client of Swedish massage is the stroking, kneading, friction or rubbing as well as vibration from tools during your massage session. These techniques are useful in increasing blood flow that results in reduced swelling. Relief of muscular aches and tension can also be felt during this type of massage. The patient will also experience physical relaxation and emotional or psychological relief and a reduction in stress levels.

One by-product of reduced pain is that the person can move more easily and is able to do more exercising and activities that help to reduce inflammation and the movement can increase the range of motion in joints. When a person moves more they reduce the inflammation and pain felt which without pain, they are encouraged to move even more. Pain management is therefore the key to improving the overall health of a person suffering from a chronic pain disease. Massage has been determined by studies to be an effective pain reducer.

Despite the benefits of massage, it cannot undo or reverse the arthritis, what it can do is give the patient back the ability to manage pain and improve range of motion. It is important to carefully screen the therapist to be assured that they possess the licensed or certificate qualifications that will support their ability to handle the needs of the arthritic client. Massage done incorrectly can lead to serious harmful effects. Check for not only the license or certificate, but how long they have done massage for arthritis patients.

Massage also can aid other pain management like that which is encountered by sports participants, bodybuilders, dancers, and pregnant women. Relief of pain leads to emotional and mental well-being that benefits the whole person.

This article is contributed by Leong Y.H., M.D. Dr Leong is a western trained medical doctor with a keen interest in Oriental medical methods. You may republish this article provided you give credit to the author and provide a web link back to