Therapeutic massage cures many ailments -

Therapeutic massage cures many ailments

Few would be surprised to learn that massage may be as good at relieving low back pain as medicine and possibly even physical therapy.

An instructor at a medical training college, Debbie Couvillion says that back pain is often linked to muscles that attach to the spine.

"Massage is not just for relaxation," she says. "[Back pain] could because there are muscles that are too tight and are pulling it out of alignment."

When the spine is out of alignment, vertebrae can shift and pinch nerves, which also leads to excruciating pain. Structural massage relaxes muscles that are tugging the spine out of position, which lets the spine return to normal.

"All the discs are where they're supposed to be and each vertebra is where it's supposed to be, which eliminates pain," Couvillion explains.

In one study, low back pain patients who opted for therapeutic massage spent fewer days in bed and took less pain medications than those in traditional care. The findings held true for a year.

It doesn't take long for massage therapy students to witness the benefits of what they're learning first hand. Whitney Aiken remembers early in her training using what she'd learned on her mother after she'd complained about stiffness in her neck.

"I started working on her neck and now she has full mobility," Aiken shares. "I'm completely surprised by that!"

Therapeutic massage is not a cure-all, but researchers are finding it can help people with a variety of different ailments.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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