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Health Tip: Massage Therapy Can Work

Pain relief may be fingertips away

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans are all too familiar with pain -- countless trips to the doctor or chiropractor, endless pain medications, sleepless nights and the struggle of getting through the day.

The answer may lie in massage therapy.

Clinical research has shown that massage therapy can be more effective for chronic back pain than other complementary therapies; it can reduce post-traumatic headaches better than cold pack treatments; it stimulates the brain to produce endorphins; and improve confidence by encouraging patients to effectively cope with their pain, the American Massage Therapy Association says. It offers these tips on what to expect when you go for massage therapy:

  • The massage therapist will ask questions about what prompted you to get a massage.
  • The therapist will want background information about your physical condition, medical history, lifestyle, stress levels and any painful areas.
  • The therapist will ask what your health goals are and will discuss how massage may help you achieve those goals.
  • During a one-on-one massage, you will be asked to remove clothing to your level of comfort. Clothing is not removed during "chair" massages.

The important thing is to relax as much as possible during and after your session.

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