Massage Therapy: A Holistic Approach to Muscle Pain


Nearly 80 million massage therapy appointments are made each year according to statistics provided by the United States Department of Labor. That means that there are over 219,000 therapeutic massage appointments each day, and all with good reason, as this type of pain relief treatment works with a deep healing power for work-related injuries, trauma inflicted by sports injuries or auto accidents. With a demanding rise in safe, natural approaches to relieving pain in the muscles of the neck and back pain, the US currently has some 125,000 massage therapists. Read on to learn more about this therapy.

The Origin of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy got its start some 4,000 years ago in traditional Chinese medicine practices. Thousands of years later, in the mid-1900’s Swedish massage therapy was born and introduced in the United States. By the end of this century, this therapeutic pain relief treatment became a very popular, adopted technique in American, and gave way to the origins of the nation’s first massage therapy clinics to publicly open.

The idea of a healing touch is particularly appealing. So, it’s no surprise that it was during the holistic 70’s that particular attention began to rise in the way of massage therapy. Medical professions and the public began to see the medical benefits of this holistic pain relief method.

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapists are trained to manipulate, or decompress, the soft-tissue muscles of the body. While pain relief and rehabilitation are generally the main reasons for this treatment, many patients enjoy massage therapy because it promotes stress reduction and good health. Exaggerated strokes or quick strokes with a closed hand are two popular massage techniques, but there are many techniques, as there are 80 different types of massage therapy.

The most popular types of massage therapy include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Deep Tissue
  • Neuromuscular
  • Sports massage
  • Swedish

A massage therapy session first begins with a short conversation about the patient’s medical history, followed by any goals, questions, or concerns that would like to be expressed. The next step is to determine which type of modality, or massage therapy, will best work, whether it is to relieve pain, provide rehabilitation, or reduce stress.  

Massage Therapy Schools
Generally, massage therapists have to be state certified and must graduate from a massage therapy training program that includes the following courses: anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and massage specialty courses. Upon course completion, the therapist should know about the body’s mechanics including the organs and tissues. Hands-on hours of practice are also required in the completion of such programs.

Get a Massage

To schedule a massage, please contact us. Or if you would like more information about this treatment, please visit our Massage Therapy page. Or if you have a direct question for the Preferred Spine & Rehab staff, just Ask an Expert. We provide relaxing Massage Therapy for residents of Fairview Heights, Swansea, O'Fallon, Belleville, Shiloh, Collinsville, and the surrounding Illinois communities.