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Pain Management: A Worthy Benefit of Massage Therapy

Written By: Cindi Franklin, AOS, RMT, TTT

The US medical community has acknowledged the benefit of massage therapy as a viable asset to pain management. There has been an increase in pain management clinics which include a team of physicians, chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Medical doctors are using massage therapy as a resource rather than prescribing opioids.

Opioid use for pain management has exploded. This has caused great medical concern for the United States. The medical community is looking for alternative ways for pain management other than opioid prescriptions. The massage industry has become a shining light through this darkness of opioid prescriptions as an opportunity for positive healing to pain management.

Benefits of Massage

The Evidence and Research

The actual benefits of massage therapy have become observed and recognized with the support of the medical community and the insurance companies are following in their footsteps. This has allowed more people access to the healing benefits of massage therapy which include:

  • Improved recovery from soft tissue injury
  • Increased range of motion
  • Decreased pain
  • Decrease in pharmaceutical drugs for pain management
  • Lowers stress, by helping the body return to homeostasis
  • Boosts mental health and wellness
  • Injury recovery
  • Increases joint mobility and flexibility
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system
  • Improves detoxification
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Decreases headaches and migraines
  • Improves balance in older adults
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Enhances immunity (and we all need that)

Research data from the 2021 American MassageTherapy Association Survey states: “In 2021, 63% of consumers who got a massage for health and wellness reasons stated it was part of a treatment plan from a doctor or medical provider.” (quote from

This research shows that people are turning to massage by encouragement from their physicians. Many people are looking for accessible ways to help with their personal aches and pains. Massage therapy has become a beacon of light for pain management as an alternative to opioid prescriptions. Massage therapy has proven itself in the medical community to give clear and long-term healing benefits. Because of these outwardly visible and internal benefits, massage therapy has paved a road in the medical community to reduce its lean towards the temporary healing of opioids for pain management.

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