Massage is medicine

Massage Massage Therapists offer healing every day.

As Massage Therapists, we have to be thoughtful when we say what we actually do. We are not supposed to say that we diagnose or treat any conditions. The current medical system states that massage therapy barely does anything at all, except maybe help a person relax a little.

Medicine, as defined by the Oxford Dictionaries: “The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).” (1)

Common effects of stress from the Mayo Clinic:

“Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.” (2)

Could it be that relaxation and self-awareness are antidotes to stress?

A Massage Therapist who specializes in self-awareness, relaxation and mind-body balance participates in the prevention of health problems every day. Many Massage Therapists who have been practicing long-term have invested themselves in the study of multiple forms of hands-on healing so they can offer the best care possible to their clients. Dedicated Massage Therapists fine tune their own body-mind in order to offer clarity and harmony to their clients.

Massage is a form of medicine to counteract stress.

Massage A Massage Therapist creates a sacred space for one to sink into self-awareness.
With the presence and encouragement of skillful hands-on contact, one is able to explore their physical and emotional reactions to stress. As the session continues, a skilled Massage Therapist is able to guide and support the letting go of physical, emotional, and mental tension patterns – a process sometimes referred to as “just relaxation.”

Experience is the proof.

Regardless of what the prevailing medical system allows a person to proclaim about the benefits of massage therapy, the reality remains – massage therapy is medicine.

(1) Medicine

(2) Common effects of stress

About The Author

Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  • Pat

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    This a great article! I agree.

    As a practitioner who does only lymphatic drainage massage I too feel the mind, body, connection. And as a Reiki Master adding the energy healing is a big bonus!

    Thank u for sharing this article.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016

      Pat, thank you for all of the healing you offer to your clients. Practitioners like you are having a huge impact on the health and well-being of so many. Thanks for writing, it’s great to connect with you out here on the web! 🙂

  • Marcia

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    As more of doctors, nurses, PA’s NP’s experience massage for themselves, they realize the wonderful benefits of massage therapy in its many forms. We just have to interact with them to prove our worth.
    I love reading all your articles.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016

      Thanks Marcia. We can all work together for the benefit of our clients, yes! 🙂

  • Rajeswari

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    A very good article about massage therapy. If you take a medicine pain killer for headache or backache it gives relief. As such massage therapy also give same relief with massage therapy with out any side effects as well as treats the cause of the disease also

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016

      Rajeswari – very good reminder about the side-effects, thank you!

  • Kathy Hawk

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    Great article – Many of my client’s are Dr’s, PT’s etc. They all realize how much massage does for them. Some of them call it maintenance medicine.
    I feel very blessed to be a Massage Therapist and watch how it helps so many escape from everyday stress and help them create balance of mind, body and spirit.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016

      Thank you for writing Kathy, I really like “Maintenance medicine”!

  • Lucien Laviolette

    Reply Reply April 8, 2016

    In French Canada, Massage Therapy, (among others)is known as “Medecine Douce”, which translates to “Soft Medicine”.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

      Reply Reply April 8, 2016

      Lucien – thank you for sharing!

  • Margot

    Reply Reply April 28, 2016

    I have worked in a hospital setting for 13 years. Most of the medical profession respects and values the “medicine” of massage. I get more verbal referrals from docs and nurses telling my patients to seek massage today more than ever in the past.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

      Reply Reply April 28, 2016

      Margot – fantastic!

  • Dot dugan

    Reply Reply May 31, 2016

    I love reading about all the healing modalities that you teach and do. I have worked for
    The past 9 years with virtually non-functioning , wheel chair and tube fed consumers in residence homes for the Center for Disability! I do no muscle work, some energy work… Minimal , light massage where possible. I want to start doing massage again and find that I feel like I have lost the expertise that I once had. I am interested in the meridian massage, reflexology. I feel stuck and timid as I hav lost all knowledge of muscles, causes and cures as a massage therapist. I love my clients but I do not use the skills that I learned in school!
    Any suggestions??

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

      Reply Reply June 2, 2016

      Hi Dot,

      My only suggestion is to notice what you inspires you and follow that – there is much to explore in the world of touch!

  • Karey D.

    Reply Reply February 10, 2017

    100% agree with you. I think stress is the big silent killer in our busy society. Things like massage, yoga, meditation, etc. can go a long way to reducing this.

  • Heather

    Reply Reply April 27, 2017

    Massage therapists are so underrated when it comes to healthcare. The benefits from just one massage are immense. Thanks for sharing!

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