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Although scientific data on whether massage treatment works and, if so, how it works is weak, there is evidence that massage therapy may assist some patients. It is still too early to conclude its efficacy for certain health issues.

However, according to one study, studies support the overall conclusion that massage treatment is helpful. A single massage therapy session can reduce “state anxiety” (a reaction to a specific event), blood pressure, and heart rate. In contrast, repeated sessions can reduce “trait anxiety” (overall anxiety-proneness), sadness, and pain, according to the research included in the study. Furthermore, current research suggests that massage may help with a variety of illnesses, including:

According to a 2008 assessment of 13 research studies, massage may be beneficial for persistent low-back pain. When patients with chronic low-back pain do not respond to conventional treatment, the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians published clinical practise guidelines in 2007 recommending that physicians consider using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies such as massage (as well as acupuncture, chiropractic, progressive relaxation, and yoga).

What are the dangers and negative effects of massage therapy?

If a professionally educated therapist is administered and suitable precautions are taken, massage treatment appears to pose few major dangers. Serious injuries have been documented in a very limited number of cases. Temporary soreness or discomfort, bruising, swelling, and a sensitivity or allergy to massage oils are all possible side effects of massage treatment.

The following are some massage therapy cautions:

People with bleeding problems or low blood platelet counts and those using blood-thinning drugs like warfarin should avoid vigorous massage.

Massage should not be performed on any part of the body that contains blood clots, fractures, open or healed wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones (such as those caused by osteoporosis or cancer), or where surgery has just been performed.
Although massage treatment appears to be generally safe for cancer patients, they should contact their oncologist before receiving a deep or intensive massage. Any direct pressure on a tumour is typically avoided, and any concerns concerning massage treatment should be discussed with a cancer patient’s physician.

Pregnant women should not use massage treatment without first seeing their doctor.

Who is a massage therapist?

In the United States, there are around 1,500 massage therapy schools and training programmes. Students study the body and how it functions, business operations and ethics, and hands-on application of massage methods. A state board usually approves massage training programmes, and some may be certified by a third-party organisation, such as the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA).