Muscle Pain Therapy

Physiological Benefits

Muscle Pain Therapy, combines manual forms of therapies using touch specializing in soft tissue manipulation kinesiology to help decrease pain, and promote healing in the body. It is among the oldest medical interventions, documented in writing dating back over 2,000 years. (1)   


• The skin (soft tissues) is the largest sensory organ in the body with five million touch receptors sending messages along the spinal cord to the brain.


• Therapy dilates or opens up blood vessels, improves the circulation and relieves congestion. Therapy increases the number of red blood cells, especially in cases of anemia.


• The oxygen capacity of the blood increases the blood flow which helping hasten the removal of metabolic waste products such as lactic acids, one of the main culprits behind sore muscles. (5)


• Results in reduction of acute and chronic pain from slipped or herniated disk, assorted spinal problems, and other body pain. (2,3)


• Improves lymph drainage and boosts the immune system by increasing white cell count and natural killer cells cyctotoxicity which can better prepares the body to fight off possible invading cells in the body.(4), (19)


• Decreases acute inflammation. (5,12)


• Decreases muscle tension, autonomic arousal, pain and increases the sense of well-being. (6,7)


• Therapeutic Massage and Manual muscle therapies has increased in the last two decades as an adjunct to medical and pharmacology treatment for improvements in patient care. (8,9,10)


• Therapeutic Massage helps reduce the amount of fat cells in the lymphadenoid. (11). It may be an aid in bursting the fat capsule in the subcutaneous tissues, so that the fat excludes and becomes absorbed.


• "It can reduce scar tissue that develops after injury" States, Shawn Bryant, M.D., an OB/GYN in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (13)


• Decreases anxiety and improves mood state and lowers stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine levels. (4)


• Helps relieve multiple Fibromyalgia symptoms. (15,16)


• Releases muscles and connective tissue restrictions that cause chronic headaches. (17)


• Stimulates vagus, one of 12 cranial nerves that influence various bodily functions. (18)


• In Repetitive Stress Injuries, it breaks up the soft tissue adhesions and restrictive connective tissue pressing on nerves along with releasing hypertonic muscles and re-educating the agonist and antagonist muscles causing the dysfunction.


These are just some of the many benefits. There are hundreds of studies and new discoveries confirming its physiological benefits.



1. Tappan F. Healing Massage Techniques: A study of Eastern and Western Methods. Va:Reston Publishing: 1980


2. April 1992, issue of American Journal of Pain Management: By Michael Weintraub, M.D.


3. Weinrich SP, Weinrich MC. Effect of Massage on pain in Cancer Patients. Appl Nurse Res. 1990, 3:140-145.


4. Ironson G. Field T. Scafidi F. Hashimoto M. Kumar M. Kumar A. Price A. Goncalves A. Burman I. Tetnamn C. Patarca R. Fletcher MA. Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL USA. Massage therapy associated with enhancement of immune system's cytotoxic capacity. International journal of Neuroscience. 84(1-4):205-17, 1996 Feb.


5. Smith LL.  Kesting MN. Holbert D. Spratt DJ. McCammon MR. Smith SS. Israel RG. Human Performance Laboratory, East Carolina University. The effects of athletic massage on delayed onset of muscle soreness creatine kinase, and neutrophic count: a preliminary report. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. 19(2):93-9, 1994 Feb.


6. Longworth J. Psychological effects of slow stroke back massage in normotensive females. Adv. Nurs. Sci. 1982; 44-61.


7. Michelesen D. Giving a Great Back-rub. AM J. Nurs. 1978:78:1197-1199


8. Barnett KA. A theoretical construct of the concepts of touch as they relate to nursing. Res.1972:21:102-109


9. McCorkle R. Effects of touch on seriously ill patients. Nurs. Res. 1974:23:125-132


10. Fields T, Marrow C, Valdeon C,et al,. Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. J AM Acad Child Adolescent Psychiatry. 1992:31:125-131


11: Eliska O. M. Department of Anatomy, 1st Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Are peripheral lymphatic damaged by high pressure manual massage? (see comments). Results reduced fat cells, causing no damage. Lymphology 28(1):23-30, 1995 Mar.


12. Denise M. Tope, Ph.D., Danette M. Hann, PHD, Braine Pinkson, LPN, Massage therapy: An Old Intervention Comes of Age. Microsoft Internet Explorer 11/21/96. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Copyright 1994, Cerenex (tm) pharmaceuticals, page 3 of 6.


13. Healing Hands The Power of Touch Therapy. Article by: Nick Galla. Better Homes and Gardens. May 1996 issue pg 82-88.


14. Denise M. Tope, PH.D., Danette M. Hann, PHD, Briane Pinkson,  PLN. Massage Therapy: An Old Intervention Comes of Age. Microsoft Internet Explorer. 11/21/96. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Copyright 1994, Cerenx (tm) Pharmaceuticals. page 2 of 6 Massage as a Cancer Nursing Intervention.


15. William Sunshine, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, "massage therapy had decrease pain, anxiety, and sleeping disorders in FMS patients". Tiffany M. Fields, PH.D. University of Miami Research Indicates Fibromyalgia (FMS) patients Benefits From Massage Therapy. April 13, 1995 article.


16. Fibromyalgia Network. An imprint of Health Information Network, Inc. FMS, A patients Guide. PO Box 31750, Tucson, AZ 85751-1750. How Is FMS Treated? pg. 4


17. The Associated Press. New fix for pain in neck. Relax neck muscles in tension headaches. Dr. Walker L. Robinson, Neurosurgeon at University of Maryland Medical Center study on headaches and massage. Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Health, Feb. 16, 1995


18. The Healing Power of Touch. By Anne Holister. Life August 1997 issue, pg 60


19. Massage Therapy May Enhance Immune Function. Dr. Diane Zeitlin, Research Associate at the Center for Research in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine at the Kessler Medical Rehabilitation and Education Corporation in West Orange, New Jersey. March 1999.


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