The body of scientific research on the hows and whys acupuncture and massage therapy effectively reduce pain is small, but growing every year. At some point in the future we will understand more fully just how these healing modalities work. In the meantime, we have thousands of years of clinical experience that confirms their effectiveness.
We see it every day. A client comes in with a headache and after their massage or acupuncture treatment their pain is gone. A person suffering from chronic headaches experiences a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of their headaches. Back pain is dramatically reduced after just one treatment, and chronic back pain may resolve following a series of treatments. The swelling and pain around a sprained ankle or strained muscle decreases. How does this work?
Massage, bodywork and acupuncture help reduce pain in several ways.
1) By inducing a deep state of relaxation massage, bodywork and acupuncture all quiet the central nervous system, decreasing muscle tension and reducing pain that is caused by tension and stress.
2) Specific massage techniques, including neuromuscular therapy, strain counterstrain, myofascial release, trigger point therapy and others, release contracted muscles and tight tendons to improve mobility, increase circulation, reduce intrajoint pressure and erase trigger points that may be causing pain in a distant location.
3) Releasing tight muscles, fascial adhesions and scar tissue restores movement and decreases pressure in joints that may be causing pain and inflammation within the joint.
4) Tight muscles also restrict the flow of blood. By lengthening muscles and softening the connective tissue we support blood circulation and the body’s ability to deliver oxygen and other nutrients and carry toxins away from an injury site, thus reducing the cycle of pain and inflammation and supporting the body’s ability to heal.
5) Muscle Activation Techniques activate inhibited muscles to balance function and relieve pain.
6) Your massage therapist may also work with you to improve your posture. Poor body alignment may cause strain on your muscles and joints and be the root cause of your pain.
7) Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques effect all of the body systems by balancing the life energy, or qi, to relieve pain, enhance function, and support healing.