Complementary Therapy: Massage

Nowadays, a range of approaches to the treatment of medical conditions is used in countries with developed economies such as Canada. In this regard, complementary and alternative therapies should not be confused since the former are not in conflict with the existing knowledge in the field of medicine, whereas the latter is used instead of evidence-based treatment methods. In this post, emphasis will be placed on massage therapy, which is among the most popular complementary therapies in the treatment of cancer, joint issues, or insomnia.

When it comes to its definition, massage therapy involves the use of pressure and various techniques to reduce physical pain in specific regions of the body and help patients relax and deal with stress. Nowadays, there are different approaches to performing massage, and this is why necessary equipment may vary from special massage tables to essential oils. As for its origins, massage therapy belongs to the number of the oldest complementary therapies as it is mentioned in ancient Chinese texts and the works by Hippocrates (Najafi et al., 2014). Concerning the educational requirements, one should prove his or her skills and knowledge to become a registered massage therapist in Canada. To practice massage therapy, it is pivotal to complete a massage therapy educational program and be certified by the Ontario College of Massage Therapists or similar institutions in other Canadian provinces (Baskwill, 2014).

Massage therapy is used by the representatives of different ethnic, age, and social groups, and this is why it is unlikely to have cultural connections. However, given the positive effect of massage therapy in the treatment of chronic pain and sleep disorders, it can be supposed that patients with these problems are among its common users (Najafi et al., 2014). To shed light upon the financial aspect of the question, it is necessary to focus on the approximate costs of the therapy. The average costs of services provided by registered massage therapists in Canada do not exceed $80 per hour (Dillon, 2016). Importantly, massage therapy is usually not covered under standard health insurance plans in Canada, and purchasing extended plans can be necessary to pay for such services. This kind of therapy can be accessed in any province or city, and registered specialists usually provide services in chiropractic clinics or health centers.

Massage therapy is among popular complementary medicines used to improve the effects of traditional pharmaceutical treatment. Unlike alternative therapies, it is not believed to be able to substitute other treatment options even though some of its effects are proved clinically. The most important benefits of massage therapy include its ability to reduce physical pain in certain groups of post-surgery patients, manage anxiety, and help normalize sleep-wake cycles (Baskwill, 2014; Najafi et al., 2014). In general, massage therapy is considered beneficial because there are no counterindications related to the age of patients. It can be successfully used both in infants and elderly adults if massage techniques are chosen correctly.

This therapy also has a range of disadvantages since it is time-consuming, and the risks of unintended injuries cannot be eliminated even if services are provided by an experienced specialist (Murty, 2016). In addition to that, prior to using massage therapy services, one may need to prepare emotionally because being undressed in front of a therapist can become a difficult experience. Taking the above-mentioned drawbacks of massage therapy into account, I would need to discuss these issues with individual clients or families to ensure positive results. To review the use of this therapy, it would be necessary to interview patients about its physical and emotional effects.

References

Baskwill, A. (2014). Awareness of the evidence for practice of registered massage therapists in Ontario. Web.

Dillon. D. Q. (2016). Pricing your massage therapy services. Massage Therapy Canada. Web.

Murty, O. P. (2016). Fatal body massage. Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, 33(1), 39-42.

Najafi, S. S., Rast, F., Momennasab, M., Ghazinoor, M., Dehghanrad, F., & Mousavizadeh, S. A. (2014). The effect of massage therapy by patients’ companions on severity of pain in the patients undergoing post coronary artery bypass graft surgery: A single-blind randomized clinical trial. The International Journal of Community-Based Nursing and Midwifery, 2(3), 128-135.