A lot has been written for and against massages, and even if we disregard the ancient principles of massage can we ignore the scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of massages in resolving pain.
Pain is caused by trauma to muscles, tendons & ligaments, including, soreness, stiffness or spasm, injury recovery, migraines. Inflammation sustains pain and the usual medical response is anti-inflammatory medication (a highly dangerous group of medicines). However modern medicine fails to recognize that cells have a memory and long after the trauma has occurred and the inflammation or tear/wound and subsided the memory of the incident is retained by the genes in our cells. (Pain causes a defined gene expression which then gets coded into our cells).
Latest research has shown that at a cellular level, massage therapy helps the body heal. Deep tissue massage helps replace the memory of previous pain cycles with a lesser, more modulated and controlled pressure that is under the pain threshold. It has been shown that even speaking about pain can trigger an event (stress usually causes pain to occur in sites of historic injuries).
In one study, researchers did blood and muscle tests on individuals before and after a vigorous workout; one group received massage therapy after exercise and the other group didn’t. The ‘after massage’ results surprised researchers. The post-massage blood and muscle tissue showed an increase in a gene responsible for mitochondria development. The mitochondria are known for cell growth and energy production. The lifting and kneading of muscle tissue (common Swedish and deep tissue technique) also was shown to ‘turn off’ genes associated with inflammation.
Massages done by a professional with training in human physiology can help break pain cycles and replace the memory of chronic & intense pain with a progressive lowering of pain delivered under the expert hands of the therapist which gradually replaces pain with the relaxing experience of a massage.