Chronic Pain is Real.
As massage therapists we work every day with people who experience chronic pain. Over and over we listen to people’s frustration that their medical providers sometimes seem like they doubt the pain. Sometimes, the whole process makes people doubt themselves and their own experience. Well, we know chronic pain is real and we believe you.
We don’t need a diagnosis.
Regardless of whether a doctor has diagnosed a cause; or the symptoms don’t fit neatly into a box; or even whether we can “feel” anything; we trust your word that your pain experience is real. We will work with you to try to improve it. Even if you have started to doubt yourself.
Generally speaking, massage safely and effectively helps people manage pain. Although having a diagnosis can help your therapist tailor their techniques for optimal results, massage can often help prior to receiving one. Massage eases pain whether it stems from a specific muscular injury or a more systemic cause. It can even help with calming mental stressors, like anxiety, that exacerbate pain.
Complementary not alternative.
In fact, many people who live with chronic pain first try massage because they’ve “tried everything else and it can’t hurt,” especially when feeling doubted. In this way, many people first seek massage as an alternative to other forms of pain relief. For some, massage works wonders and does replace other forms of pain management. For most, however, massage complements other approaches. It can be a key component to a multi-modal integrated approach to care.
Pain comes in many forms and stems from many sources, not all of which the medical community fully understands yet. But they’re working on it. While research improves, massage continues to help people manage their pain; and massage therapists continue to believe that your pain is real.