The Biopsychosocial Model of Massage Therapy
My current goal is to promote the value of massage therapy to medical professionals by synthesizing and simplifying noteworthy finds and best available supporting evidence applicable to massage therapy.
Some of the best supporting evidence comes from recent recommendations from The Canadian Medical Association (Busse et al. 2017), The American College of Physicians (Chou et al. 2017, Qaseem et al. 2017), The Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) (Wong et al. 2017) and The Mayo Clinic (Nahin et al. 2016).
As part of an upcoming presentation I have put together a post outlining potential responses to massage therapy, here is a brief excerpt.
The Biopsychosocial Model of Massage Therapy
A biopsychosocial model of massage therapy helps put into context the interconnected and multidirectional interaction between: physiology, thoughts, emotions, behaviors, culture, and beliefs.
The biopsychosocial massage therapy has been shown to be a safe, non-pharmacological therapeutic intervention that is simple to carry out, economical, and has very few side effects. In terms of clinical responses to massage therapy there are a couple of proposed mechanisms of action, including but not limited to:
• Neurodynamics - “A clinical concept that uses movement (1) to assess increased mechanosensitivity of the nervous system; and (2) to restore the altered homeostasis in and around the nervous system.” Grieve's Modern Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy.
• Neuroplasticity - Touch can help sharpen the image of the self in our body maps (Pelletier et al. 2015)
• Contextually Aided Recovery - The way we present ourselves and present our techniques is tied to clinical outcomes, the magnitude of a response may be influenced by mood, expectation, and conditioning (Bialosky et al. 2017).
• Neuromodulation - Massage has an affect on peripheral and central processes - input from large sensory neurons may prevent the spinal cord from amplifying nociceptive signaling (Bishop et al. 2015, Vigotsky et al. 2015).
• Social Grooming - Nervous system regulated by touch (social grooming) helps modulate the activity of neural circuits important for maintaining resting state. This reduced physiological and behavioural reactivity to stressors results in improved mood/affect (Ellingsen et al. 2016, Walker et al. 2017).
• Mechanotherapy - "Any intervention that introduces mechanical forces with the goal of altering molecular pathways and inducing a cellular response that enhances tissue growth, modeling, remodeling, or repair.” (Thompson et al. 2016).
More to Explore
Massage Therapy: Injury Specific Treatments
As the body of knowledge to support the use of massage therapy continues to grow, understanding the basic science behind what we do and the guiding principles of adaptability enable us to apply this work to a number of conditions including, but not limited to:
• Sports Related Aches and Pain
• Shoulder Injuries
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Post-Operative Patients
• Compartment Syndrome
• Dupuytren's Disease
• Low Back Pain
• Neck Pain
• Post-Concussion Syndrome
• Temporal Mandibular Disorder (TMD)
• Scar Management
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26637643 (OPEN ACCESS)
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