Massage Therapy is a clinical service provided by a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) intended to promote comfort, reduce muscle spasticity, improve flexibility, increase circulation, promote wound healing, improve quality of sleep, minimize fluid retention, and minimize vertigo. On a psychological level, massage therapy can help minimize stress and anxiety. LMTs must first successfully complete the recommended program requirements set forth by a governing body. Massage Therapy in Michigan is governed by the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy.
Given the physical and psychological benefits, clients who have Massage Therapy integrated into his or her functional treatment programs are found to have improved outcomes with other therapies. Physical Therapy , Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy all are more successful when Massage Therapy is included in the therapy plan of care.
Where's the proof?
Many studies have been done describing the benefits of Massage Therapy. Dr. Tiffany Field PhD, Dr. Maria Hernandez-Reif PhD, Dr. Sybil Hart Ph.D., and Tory Field conducted a study entitled “Spinal Cord Patients Benefit from Massage Therapy” in which the experimental group of individuals with C5-C7 spinal cord injuries received two 40 minute massages per week. This experimental group was found to have increased upper extremity strength, and increased wrist range of motion as opposed to the control group who did not receive Massage Therapy.