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" (Milivojevic,1).
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