Although approximately nine out of every 10 Americans think that professional massage works well for pain reduction as well as for relaxation and stress management, more people are starting to discover that medical massage may positively interact with blood pressure conditions and other health problems traditionally treated by medical care.
In a recent worldwide study of clients who received medical massage, experts reported that it could be effective in women who were experiencing early symptoms of hypertension. For about three days after receiving each massage, many of the recipients exhibited a marked drop in blood pressure.
More than 50 million Americans asked their doctors about medical massage in the past year and many referrals for therapeutic massage, sports massage, medical and deep tissue massage come from chiropractors who want to improve patient health.
About one in every 7 Americans get at least one massage every year. Most cite concerns about recurring pain, wanting to improve their health overall, or even a need to recover from an injury. Most massages last about one hour, though shorter or longer times may be discussed with each individual massage provider.
Hospitals also seem to be supporting massage therapy as an alternative health treatment. A study of over 1,000 American hospitals found that about four out of 5 hospitals offering “alternative medicine” such as chiropractic services also offered medical massage therapy as an option for ongoing treatment.
Many older Americans are also turning to massage as a modality for treatment: last year, about 9 million people aged 55 and older contracted for a total of almost 40 million massages over the course of the entire year. Given a rise in awareness among consumers of massage as a method of treatment and the integration of medical, sports, and therapeutic massages into hospital and chiropractic services, more Americans are willing to give this “alternative treatment” serious consideration.