According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, a reported 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Luckily, research has shown that massage therapy and other painkiller-free treatment options, such as strength training and healthy eating, can help to lessen and even eliminate symptoms of chronic pain. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, massage therapy can help to reduce several common physical and emotional ailments known to exasperate chronic pain symptoms, including:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Stress-related insomnia
- Joint pain
Recently, Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC) sat down with Clarence Garcia, LVRC’s newly hired massage therapist, to discuss with him his thoughts on the ways in which massage therapy can treat chronic pain. Garcia works in LVRC’s pain program, helping clients see treatment as more than just pain management, but as a means to gain the skills necessary to achieve full pain recovery.
How does massage help people with chronic pain?
It helps with the muscles, and the nervous system , and pretty much every system of the body. It also helps to decrease stress. When you decrease stress, you decrease pain. While nothing can completely eliminate pain, every little thing helps.
How often should people with chronic pain get a massage?
It’s completely up to the person. The more massages they can get, the better they’ll feel. Bob Hope got a massage every day and he lived to be 100.
What else should people do to help with their pain?
All therapies help with chronic pain, whether it’s physical therapy or acupuncture or even cognitive therapy. Because anything that makes you feel happier will help to decrease the pain. Stretching also helps a lot. That’s what I do as a massage therapist. I help stretch people’s muscles and the connective tissues that hold the muscles in place.
Do you have any advice for people experiencing chronic pain?
I recommend getting involved in every therapy you can; especially therapies that involve movement and physical activity. Many people in pain avoid being active because they’re afraid they’ll make the pain worse, but not engaging in physical activity causes the muscles to grow weak, which can be even more painful. Also, people should remember that there’s a difference between soreness and pain. Muscle soreness isn’t always a bad thing. Want to learn more? Read: How to Deal With Pain the Natural Way: 7 Proven and Painkiller-Free Tips from Dr. Mel Pohl
About Clarence Garcia
Clarence Garcia is a licensed massage therapist. He’s worked for two years in Nevada but has been in the field of athletic training and sports massage for 35 years. He is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico.