Massage therapy for chronic low back pain on Maui

AMTA, American Massage Therapy Association, has put together some great infomation regarding the research supporting the effectiveness of regular massage therapy sessions.  Chronic low back pain as well as  Osteoarthritis of the knee, Fibromyalgia and decreasing inflammation after exercise were also researched and shown to benefit through regular Massage sessions.

I’ve known it all along.

Why else would I continue practising Massage and other forms of Bodywork therapies such as Reflexology, Structural Integration and CranioSacral Therapy after 15 years of continued study and professional work?

MASSAGE THERAPY or OTHER FORMS OF BODYWORKS MODALITIES, such as the ones I use ARE EFFECTIVE!!!  If, you receive them on a regular or semi-regular basis.  Once a week sessions is the best but even if you can only squeeze in one session per month your body will respond by healing, repairing and feeling better on a regular basis.

I’m not sure how to stress the importance of regularity with these sessions.  The once or twice a year massage “treat” or “indulgence” (as many view it) will feel good at the time but try to “fix” all your aches and pains in one 60 minute session per year.  Well, that is a huge request (and mostly a little delusional although I encounter many people who think it is possible).

One definition Webster gives for Chronic is: “marked by long duration or frequent recurrence”.  I think of it this way, frequent recurrence of a massage therapy session will help alleviate the frequent recurrence of low back pain.  And of course, stretching and exercise need to be incorporated too but that’s an ENTIRELY new conversation to be had.

Here’s what the article from AMTA has to say:



Research released in July 2011 expanded on previous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of massage therapy for chronic low back pain. Researchers found that “patients receiving massage were twice as likely as those receiving usual care to report significant improvements in both their pain and function”. The study was conducted over 10 weeks through Group Health Research Institute.


  • Participants had a 60-minute massage once a week for 10 weeks.
  • Massage patients also said they reduced the amount of over the counter anti-inflammatory medications they took.
  • The study compared both relaxation massage and “structural massage” therapy and found no difference in the results from the type of massage given.

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Kahn J, Wellman R, Cook AJ, Johnson E, Erro J, Delaney K, Deyo RA. A comparison of the effects of 2 types of massage and usual care on chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial.
Ann Intern Med. 2011 Jul 5;155(1):1-9.

Read more of the research and, for the love of your back, GET A MASSAGE.

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