In modern society with high rhythm life style and stressful work environment, for many people, work poses primarily psychological and emotional demands, instead of physical demands, and the pace of work is more and more dictated by patients, clients, customers and so on. Work related musculoskeletal injuries have become a serious problem in workplace in different occupations such as healthcare professions, police and teachers. Existing researches have provided strong support for the effects of remedial massage for chronic low back pain, shoulder pain and headache.
The practice of massage therapy has been defined as the assessment of soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of dysfunction, injury, pain and physical disorders of the soft tissue and joint by manual and physical methods to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function to relieve pain and promote health. Massage therapy had been describe as having 4 principal goals of treatment:
1. to promote relaxation and wellness;
2. to address clinical concerns;
3. to enhance posture, movement, and body awareness; and
4. to balance and "move" subtle energy.
Some researches reported that people who received massage therapy had significantly reduced back pain symptoms comparing with the control group. Massage therapy is recognized as a safe therapeutic modality without risks or adverse effects. However, there are contraindications, such as applying massage over an area with acute inflammation, skin infection, nonconsolidated fracture, burn area, deep vein thrombosis or active cancer tumor. So it is important for a massage therapist to take a detailed case history and determine the best form of treatment before performing the massage for the clients.
Remedial massage is also an effective intervention to reduce work related anxiety, depression and improve job satisfaction and work place morale. Based on a recent study in Healthcare professions in Canada, people in different age groups from 20 to 62 years showed a significant decrease in back pain severity after 4 weeks massage therapy. Meanwhile this study showed a trend toward improvement of quality of life and job satisfaction associated with the massage intervention. Massage also may save money by reducing health care provider visits, the use of pain medications.
Massage is being practiced more than ever and is gaining more popularity over the years. Its effects are both physiological and psychological. Many studies have indicated that massage therapy is statistically effective in reducing the pain and tension level. Meanwhile, massage can also improve psychological wellbeing. People from all walks of life can benefit from massage and across different age brackets. Massage therapy has potential to play more active role in improve community health. Massage is not only healing our body but also healing our mind and soul.