What Is Evidence Based Massage Treatment?

If you maintain up with the world of therapeutic massage therapy, you will at some point notice that there are some new concepts and conditions likely around. Evidence based therapeutic massage. Evidence dependent exercise. Evidence educated practice. Science primarily based drugs. What does it all indicate?

Massage Dependent on Tradition

When I went to therapeutic massage college, considerably of what we ended up taught was based on tradition or what was perceived to be typical feeling. We did specific factors in specific techniques since… properly, simply because that was the way we had been taught to do them. Massage “enhanced circulation.” We ought to consume a good deal of h2o following a therapeutic massage so it would “flush out toxic compounds.” It appeared to make perception, correct?

My 1st introduction to the idea that science was commencing to contradict some of our dearly held beliefs arrived when an instructor advised me that investigation experienced proven that massage did not, as was generally claimed, minimize lactic acid in muscle tissue. We might constantly been advised that a buildup of lactic acid in the muscle tissue was what triggered soreness and that therapeutic massage lowered its existence. best massage guns ireland and women repeatedly encounter that massage reduces muscles soreness. Therefore, massage should be reducing the existence of lactic acid, appropriate?

When an individual last but not least did some investigation, it turned out that, in simple fact, massage did not lessen the existence of lactic acid. How could this be? Did this mean what we would been led to think was mistaken? Nicely, it really is real that therapeutic massage does reduce soreness in muscle groups. Evidently, however, it is not simply because of lactic acid. How does therapeutic massage reduce soreness? We never evidently comprehend how it occurs but we do know that it does happen.

Even though a single of therapeutic massage therapy’s sacred cows experienced just been slain, I appreciated it that this distinct instructor was spending attention to science and investigation and was much more intrigued in knowing the reality of what was taking place rather than defending a custom that may possibly not be supportable.

Shortly afterward I discovered Neuromuscular Treatment, often referred to as Set off Stage Remedy, and the work of Travell and Simons. Drs. Travell and Simons put in a lot of years documenting the phenomena of cause details and writing the two quantity established Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Bring about Stage Handbook. Learning their function gave me the tools to work efficiently with some typical discomfort situations. It also began to give me the information and vocabulary to communicate intelligently to bodily therapists and health-related medical doctors about my consumers and their sufferers. It started me down the route of an evidence primarily based practice, a route which I attempt to comply with to this day.

Massage Primarily based on Proof

Evidenced primarily based therapeutic massage remedy is massage treatment launched on suggestions and rules supported by proof. There is scientific, documented evidence to support the existence of and treatment method of bring about points. There is documented proof that therapeutic massage relieves muscle soreness and can reduce stress and despair.

Several of the promises made and techniques employed by massage therapists are founded on tradition rather than proof. Considering that there is not however a large physique of understanding documenting the physiology of and consequences of massage therapy, if we were only in a position to make statements strictly on the foundation of scientific studies, we would be severely restricted, without a doubt. Some people prefer the time period evidence knowledgeable exercise as a lot more correct. An proof knowledgeable practice will take into thought scientific proof, clinical knowledge, and careful observation.

I assumed this reliance on tradition was mainly confined to the field of therapeutic massage treatment and was shocked one particular day when I found a big exhibit about proof based drugs in the halls of St. Louis College Health-related University. Seemingly, even in traditional medicine, a lot of procedures are completed since which is the way they have usually been completed and are not necessarily supported by proof that they are the very best way or even powerful.

In science, 1 often has to be open up to new proof and be willing to adjust your head when confronted with new information that contradicts previously held beliefs. Yet another a single of massage therapists’ dearly held beliefs was challenged previous summer season when researcher Christopher Moyer introduced a paper that confirmed that massage remedy did not decrease amounts of the stress hormone cortisol virtually as considerably as experienced been beforehand considered and, in reality, its influence on cortisol may be negligible. I am confident I was not the only therapeutic massage therapist who was startled by this information. Nevertheless, after I acquired in excess of the original shock, I examined the proof he offered. It took awhile for me to recognize but in the end it seemed that he experienced quite very good evidence to assistance his conclusions. Does this imply that therapeutic massage does not “operate?” Effectively, it’s obvious that massage can make us come to feel much better, we just don’t know exactly why or how.

Does it truly issue if we realize? I feel so. Very first of all, as a therapist, I want to make certain that the claims I make to my clientele are truthful. I do not want to mislead them by generating unsubstantiated statements. In addition, I believe that the much more we are in a position to understand, the far more efficiently we could be in our function. Finally, I feel that the a lot more we can doc the techniques in which therapeutic massage treatment can be useful, the a lot more recognized it will grow to be.


There are some wonderful resources that can assist therapeutic massage therapists stay abreast of current investigation in the field of therapeutic massage remedy. On the web discussion boards, Facebook webpages, and professional associations can be a start off. Aside from message boards and content articles that emphasis exclusively on massage treatment, locations this kind of as ache science, neuroscience, and related fields can assist the science-dependent therapist continue to be knowledgeable about how the physique works and how we, as therapists, can impact it. Networking with physical therapists and scientists can enhance one’s comprehending, way too.

When we truly recognize how the human body functions, we are in a considerably better place to accomplish the client’s targets, whether or not it is for soreness reduction or rest. And when our knowledge is grounded in what is truly identified about how the physique performs, are consumers can trust us and know that they are in excellent hands.