The Healing Touch: Benefits of Massage
Lessen Chronic Pain
Massage prescription: Scientists are finding that regular massage may lessen the chronic pain of fibromyalgia and reduce the use of pain medication. It may also keep discomfort lower for up to three months after the treatments.
Doctor's orders: Get a 30-minute full-body massage twice a week for at least six weeks. Avoid deep-tissue massage or any other technique involving firm pressure. If someone is already hypersensitive to pain, intense touching may be too uncomfortable. If so, "You may find relief with a movement method like Trager," says Dr. Field. Be sure to tell the therapist what feels good and what hurts.
Self-help: Massaging yourself won't work, but if you're doing Trager, ask for training in Mentastics, Trager's self-help relaxation technique.
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