Arthritis: There is Relief with Massage Therapy
Living With Arthritis
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, reduced quality of
life, and high health care costs in the U.S. Of the 46 million
Americans who suffer from arthritis, nearly half say that arthritis
limits their normal activities. The good news is that recent
studies suggest that massage can help reduce pain and increase
mobility in those who suffer from arthritis (Milivojevic,1). At
Massage Envy, we offer a Massage Wellness Program to help cope with
chronic arthritis pain.
Managing Arthritis Pain: A Brief History
More than 2,000 years ago, Greek physician Hippocrates wrote
that doctors should be experienced in "Rubbing that can bind a
joint that is loose and loosen a joint that is too hard." Today,
massage is still a popular way to manage arthritis pain (Massage,
1). At Massage Envy, our professional massage therapists help
improve joint movement, relax tense muscles, and stimulate the flow
of blood and nutrients to the skin and underlying tissues. What's
more, this relaxation helps break the cycle of pain and stress that
often accompanies arthritis.
In 2006, researchers from Yale Prevention Research Center held a
16-week clinical trial involving 64 individuals with arthritis.
This trial showed that massage therapy improved flexibility,
lessened pain and improved range of motion in the participants.
This is the first clinical trial of its kind in this country and it
validates what many massage therapists have experienced
anecdotally. Researcher Adam Perlman, MD says that, "Ultimately,
massage may be shown to lessen a patient's reliance on medications
and decrease health care costs. Our hope is to show that this
treatment is not only safe and effective, but cost effective"
Massage Brings Relief, Relaxation, And Sleep
A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the
University of Miami School of Medicine showed that ongoing massage
could lower anxiety, reduce pain, and improve grip strength for
those with arthritis. Additionally, a common thread between
arthritis sufferers is lack of deep sleep. Tiffany Field, PhD and
director of the Touch Research Institute noted that, "When you are
deprived of deep sleep, certain kinds of pain chemicals are
released." With regular massage, our professional therapists can
actually help you get more deep sleep. "It's this deep sleep that's
truly important because that is where the restorative process is
happening," says Field. This is doubly important, as not only can
ongoing massage help you sleep better, but it can also decrease
your pain during the day.
Communication Is Key
At Massage Envy, we understand that there are many forms of
arthritis, it's a chronic condition, and there is no cure. Our
professional massage therapists use several different massage
types, each of which is customized to help with your specific
needs. Most importantly however, we practice constant communication
before, during, and after each session. This ensures that our
professional massage therapists properly understand your tolerance
level, and that you receive a massage that is both relaxing and
therapeutic every time. If you ever have questions or concerns with
whether massage is right for you, please consult your doctor.
Here's the beauty of massage: Not only does each session feel
great, but the therapeutic benefits are compounded when massage is
utilized as a frequent therapy. The more you go, the healthier you
feel. With our Massage Wellness Program, you can enjoy
these benefits as often as you'd like. Monthly dues include a
one-hour massage session and unlimited additional one-hour sessions
at the low membership rate. To make things even easier, Massage
Envy has hundreds of clinics nationwide. So you can relax,
rejuvenate, and continue to grow healthier wherever you go.
"Massage Therapy for Managing Arthritis
DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. 2008.
"Relief Within Reach."
Massage Therapy Journal.
American Massage Therapy Association. 3/30/09.