Today was another painful day and you wonder how long you can go without taking a painkiller. You are already afraid of becoming reliant on them and, besides, there are unpleasant side effects. Fearful of addiction and even more stressed-out by the pain you suffer from, you wonder if there is another treatment out there. What’s the answer to your chronic or acute discomfort? One answer could be massage therapy.

Woman Receiving a MassageWhat is Therapeutic Massage

Therapists in this discipline are proud to give their clients an alternative to drugs in order to combat pain caused by injury or disease. Their patients suffer from regular headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, lower back problems, neck problems, and sports injuries.

A doctor can give them prescriptions for anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, but these only mask the pain. They do not get to the root of the problem.

Sometimes, if a condition is structural, therapeutic massage can rectify the issue, especially in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments or physiotherapy. Like a chiropractor, this professional uses manipulative strategies which contribute to better alignment. One would class this as an alternative treatment along the lines of naturopathy or chiropractics.

Massage Therapy, not Relaxation

Do not be fooled by the term “massage”. To some Westerners, this word makes them think of a sensual experience involving essential oils, a white sandy beach, and an exotic lady wearing a bikini. Others envision a period of relaxation.

Massage therapy is often painful because the therapist is digging deep into muscles, causing pain for ultimate good. It’s not uncommon for a client to experience discomfort following treatment before achieving some level of relief. Some conditions respond well to several rounds of therapy. Someone with a degenerative or chronic condition will return to a therapist regularly during many years seeking relief from cycles of pain.

Choosing a Registered Massage Therapist

First of all, your therapist should be licensed and registered. Ask to see evidence of this if it is not prominently displayed. There are specific courses therapists enroll in which can take months or years before an individual is qualified to start manipulating men’s, women’s, and even children’s muscles successfully and effectively. You should always seek help from someone who has training and experience and whose qualifications come from the best institutions. It’s possible a local practitioner specializes in treating families or athletes.

You find these people in one of several ways. Firstly, browse the Yellow Pages online or on paper. Check out a number of likely-looking businesses and make some calls. Ask questions about the issues listed above, and if you are satisfied with the answers you can talk about fees.

Ask your friends if they have visited one of these professionals. How did the visit go? Did they experience relief from their symptoms? Was the atmosphere comfortable and professional? Would they recommend a certain practitioner?

Finally, if no one in your circle has been to a registered massage therapist (RMT) then you can use the internet for advice, exploring reviews and business websites for more information and guidance.

Many Complementary Treatments

Massage therapy is often used as part of a regimen involving other types of treatment for pain and inflammation. These include acupuncture, homeopathy, yoga, chiropractics, and medical treatment. Engaging in all of these would be a truly holistic approach.

One might not be able to avoid analgesics or even surgery if a condition is serious, however. The ultimate goal of massage therapy is to relieve pain and suffering as much as possible so that a person can live with chronic pain, perhaps even overcome it permanently, without relying solely on addictive drugs or invasive treatment. An experience professional knows when to suggest a patient should visit her doctor for x-rays and other tests to rule out life-threatening diseases.

Looking at Costs

You can’t put a price on relief from the pain that distracts you at work, makes it hard to focus on hobbies, and takes pleasure out of pastimes you once enjoyed. There is no cost too high to once more enjoy a good night’s sleep after years of sleeplessness or to have the burden of possible addiction removed from your plate. Then again, consumers have to work with the resources they have and massage therapy is not free.

How are you going to pay for the potentially expensive RMT sessions you want to start booking? Ask your insurance company if they are able to cover some part or even the entire cost of massage therapy and how long payments will last. You might also be able to arrange a payment plan with your practitioner.

If all else fails, stretch out intervals a little more and make these treatments happen. You will notice a big difference in your range of movement and overall experience of pain caused by an accident, sports injury, and chronic issues, especially if you are able to combine massage therapy with other alternative approaches to pain management.