Complementary and alternative health care treatments are finally getting recognition for pain relief among U.S. government medical researchers. An announcement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that data from a review of U.S.-based clinical trials published in September in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggest that some of the most popular complementary health approaches appear to be effective tools for helping to manage common pain conditions. The review was conducted by a group of scientists from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH.

The review is important because it now gives primary care providers the evidence to guide their patients on complementary approaches for managing pain. The NIH points out that millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain may not be relieved by medications, which also can produce unwanted side effects.

According to the NIH announcement, the researchers reviewed 105 U.S.-based randomized controlled trials, from the past 50 years, that were relevant to pain patients in the United States and met inclusion criteria. Specifically, the review focused on U.S.-based trial results on seven approaches used for back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine — and found promise in the following for safety and effectiveness in treating pain:

  • Acupuncture and yoga for back pain
  • Acupuncture and tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Massage therapy for neck pain with adequate doses and for short-term benefit
  • Relaxation techniques for severe headaches and migraine.

Back pain was another area where the researchers found that massage therapy may provide pain relief, though the results were not as strong.

The key to the NIH announcement is the validation of the effectiveness of massage therapy in helping to control pain. The news should encourage more referrals from physicians, although fortunately, many medical professionals already are convinced. In “Massage for Pain Relief,” Chris Woolston writes, “…massage already has the respect of the medical community. As reported in Rheumatology, more than 70 percent of doctors say that they have referred their patients to massage therapists.”

Therapeutic massage for relief

In the meantime, many of your clients have already discovered the benefits of massage for pain management and relief. Data from the AMTA indicates:

  • Fifty-two percent of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2014 and July 2015 received it for medical or health reasons such as pain management, soreness/stiffness/spasms, injury rehabilitation, or overall wellness
  • Ninety-one percent agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain.

Specifically, to help ease client pain, BIOTONE offers two therapeutic massage lubricants. Relaxing Therapeutic Massage Creme is made from certified organic botanicals, most notably organic lavender, which helps to slow the nervous system, ease stress and promote relaxation. Its other natural ingredients include Passion Flower to promote tranquility and Melissa (Lemon Balm, an anti-viral herb that helps to calm nerves and reduce tension.

BIOTONE Muscle & Joint Therapeutic Massage Creme and Muscle & Joint Therapeutic Massage Gel utilize naturally healing ingredients to provide the ultimate massage to relieve sore joints and aching muscles. The Paraben-Free products contain therapeutic ingredients such as Arnica, Quince, Burdock, Lemon Bioflavonoids, Glucosamine Sulfate and Jojoba Oil to reduce inflammation and promote healing. The Gel is ideal for sore joints; the Creme offers muscle and joint recovery benefits for maximum sports massage effectiveness.

While the government gives massage a thumbs up, you can be giving your clients hands down to help relieve pain.