If you hold up with the globe of therapeutic massage therapy, you will sooner or later recognize that there are some new concepts and terms going around. Proof based therapeutic massage. Evidence primarily based follow. Evidence educated follow. Science dependent medication. What does it all imply?

Massage Dependent on Tradition

When I went to massage faculty, much of what we have been taught was based on custom or what was perceived to be common sense. We did particular factors in specified methods because… well, simply because that was the way we ended up taught to do them. Massage “enhanced circulation.” We should drink a great deal of drinking water soon after a therapeutic massage so it would “flush out poisons.” It seemed to make perception, correct?

My first introduction to the notion that science was starting to contradict some of our dearly held beliefs arrived when an instructor told me that investigation experienced shown that therapeutic massage did not, as was generally claimed, lessen lactic acid in muscle tissue. We would usually been told that a buildup of lactic acid in the muscle tissue was what triggered soreness and that therapeutic massage lowered its existence. Folks regularly experience that massage reduces muscle tissue soreness. Consequently, therapeutic massage should be reducing the presence of lactic acid, correct?

When an individual lastly did some study, it turned out that, in reality, therapeutic massage did not decrease the presence of lactic acid. How could this be? Did this imply what we would been led to feel was mistaken? Effectively, it truly is real that therapeutic massage does reduce soreness in muscle groups. Apparently, although, it is not simply because of lactic acid. How does massage lower soreness? We don’t obviously recognize how it takes place but we do know that it does come about.

Despite the fact that a single of massage therapy’s sacred cows experienced just been slain, I appreciated it that this particular teacher was having to pay attention to science and investigation and was more interested in knowing the real truth of what was taking place fairly than defending a custom that may not be supportable.

Soon afterward I identified Neuromuscular Therapy, occasionally referred to as Cause Point Therapy, and the perform of Travell and Simons. Drs. Travell and Simons spent many many years documenting the phenomena of set off points and creating the two volume set Myofascial Discomfort and Dysfunction: The Cause Level Manual. Studying their work gave me the tools to function effectively with some widespread soreness problems. It also started to give me the knowledge and vocabulary to converse intelligently to physical therapists and healthcare doctors about my clientele and their sufferers. It commenced me down the path of an evidence primarily based practice, a path which I attempt to comply with to this working day.

Therapeutic massage Primarily based on Proof

Evidenced primarily based massage remedy is massage remedy started on ideas and ideas supported by evidence. There is scientific, documented proof to assistance the existence of and therapy of bring about details. There is documented evidence that massage relieves muscle mass soreness and can ease stress and melancholy.

Numerous of the claims created and methods used by therapeutic massage therapists are started on custom relatively than proof. Since there is not but a huge physique of knowledge documenting the physiology of and results of therapeutic massage treatment, if we ended up only capable to make statements strictly on the basis of scientific reports, we would be severely limited, certainly. Some people favor the time period evidence informed practice as far more exact. An proof educated apply will take into consideration scientific proof, scientific knowledge, and watchful observation.

I assumed this reliance on tradition was largely confined to the subject of massage treatment and was amazed 1 day when I discovered a big exhibit about evidence dependent drugs in the halls of St. Louis College Medical University. Apparently, even in typical medicine, several procedures are carried out because that is the way they have usually been done and are not always supported by proof that they are the greatest way or even powerful.

In science, one particular always has to be open to new evidence and be prepared to alter your thoughts when confronted with new information that contradicts formerly held beliefs. An additional one particular of massage therapists’ dearly held beliefs was challenged last summer when researcher Christopher Moyer introduced a paper that confirmed that therapeutic massage treatment did not reduce levels of the anxiety hormone cortisol virtually as a lot as experienced been beforehand thought and, in truth, its result on cortisol may possibly be negligible. I’m sure I was not the only massage therapist who was startled by this information. Even so, after I obtained above the preliminary shock, I examined the evidence he offered. It took awhile for me to recognize but in the conclude it seemed that he had really excellent evidence to support his conclusions. Does this mean that therapeutic massage does not “perform?” Well, it is clear that therapeutic massage makes us come to feel much better, we just never know just why or how.

Does it truly subject if we comprehend? I feel so. Very first of all, as a therapist, I want to make confident that the statements I make to my clientele are truthful. High Stone Reflexology do not want to mislead them by making unsubstantiated claims. In addition, I imagine that the far more we are in a position to recognize, the far more efficiently we may be in our operate. Ultimately, I think that the much more we can doc the methods in which massage therapy can be helpful, the more acknowledged it will turn into.


There are some great sources that can support massage therapists continue to be abreast of existing study in the subject of therapeutic massage therapy. On-line community forums, Facebook internet pages, and professional associations can be a start off. Besides forums and content articles that target exclusively on therapeutic massage therapy, locations this kind of as pain science, neuroscience, and relevant fields can aid the science-primarily based therapist continue to be educated about how the body works and how we, as therapists, can affect it. Networking with bodily therapists and scientists can enhance one’s comprehension, also.

When we truly realize how the human body works, we are in a significantly greater situation to achieve the client’s targets, whether or not it is for soreness aid or relaxation. And when our information is grounded in what is really recognized about how the human body operates, are clients can believe in us and know that they are in very good arms.