Ian Holland
Therapeutic Massage


Recently with the burgeoning popularity of Massage in Europe and America, a number of studies have been carried out, a trend which, should accelerate. Below are three recently published studies and a number of websites carrying between them most of the available scientific literature on Massage's effectiveness.

Effectiveness of Massage Therapy for Subacute Low Back-pain

A randomised controlled trial carried out by Massage therapists in Ontario and reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (Preyde June 2000). Patients were assigned to one of three groups receiving either comprehansive massage therapy, remedial exercise and posture education or sham laser therapy. The Massage group had statistically significant improvements over the other groups in both improved function and less intense pain. At the 1 month follow-up 63% of the Massage group reported no pain as against 14% of the Remedial Exercise group and 0% of the placebo group.

Chiropractic v Massage

University of California researchers carried out a randomised controlled trial of 336 neck pain sufferers. They compared Chiropractic manipulation (high velocity thrusts) with soft-tissue mobilisation (massage). The results found manipulation and massage resulted in similar clinical outcomes. Reported in Health Which 2003.

Treating Low Back-pain

A review published in the 'Annals of Internal Medicine' (the American equivalent of the Lancet) looked at trials of spinal manipulation and massage for back pain. Both were found to be equally beneficial for treating chronic back pain and both were superior to placebo therapy.


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