Healing Hands: Managing Pain with Massage

Healing Hands: Managing Pain with Massage
By GREGORY BARTHELL

Your local massage therapist can help you manage pain. The American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM) reports that up to 50 percent of all primary care physician visits are due to some type of musculo-skeletal pain. Pain reduction is indicated for a majority of people suffering from musculo-skeletal pain with regular application of therapeutic massage.

Massage effectively and therapeutically applied, warms the soft tissue and improves circulation which in turn improves oxygen and nutrient uptake. Cellular waste products and toxin removal is a benefit of improved circulation.

Massage therapy uses simple strategies. This particular holistic approach focuses on the entire body and its relationship to its soft tissues. The therapist works from the outer, more superficial, mechanisms of pain progressing to the primary root cause. Therapeutic massage treats the whole body, not just the part that hurts.

David Lang, a licensed massage therapist at the Pain Center at The University of New Mexico, says that UNM and the AAPM are working together to incorporate massage therapists with teams of doctors, nurses and physical therapists who treat people suffering from all types of pain.

This revolutionary application of massage therapy is proving successful at the clinical level for pain and prescription management.

The Pain Center at UNM also believes that a majority of doctor visits are primarily for musculo-skeletal pain, but the spectrum of pain is much broader. The Pain Center treats a wide variety of pain, from chronic pain to cancer patients to the terminally ill

Chronic Pain can have a debilitating effect on quality of life and pain medications have unwanted side effects. Therapeutic massage is one of the least invasive, least expensive pain-reducing self-care activities available. Therapeutic massage is a valuable extension to any self-care health-building routine.

For medical massage, call your doctor and ask if you are a good candidate for pain reduction. Then call your local therapeutic massage therapist and ask if they can help you manage your pain. 

For more information, check out these links: http://www.mayoclinic.org/massage/art-20045743, http://www.amtamassage.org/index.html and http://www.aapainmanage.org/.

Gregory Barthell graduated from The New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts with diplomas in both therapeutic massage and polarity therapy. After passing the National Board examination for bodywork, Barthell received his Massage Therapy License from the state of New Mexico. His practice, Sunrise Theraputics, is in downtown Los Alamos. Call 505.661.4835 or email gbarthell2@gmail.com for more information. 

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