Benefits of Massage for Chronic Pain and Relaxation

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NARRATOR: A pair of skilled hands may do more than relax you. Massage therapy from an experienced pro might ease certain health conditions. A series of sessions on the massage table may soothe chronic pain. You may get short term relief for problems including an achy low back or neck, knee osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or cancer pain.

Massage may also help you avoid some migraines and tension headaches. It might relax the tense muscles that trigger some people's pain. It may have perks for healthy pregnant women, too. A therapist certified in prenatal massage may be able to knead away joint pain, ease anxiety, and help you sleep better.

Check with your doctor before you try massage therapy. It doesn't replace any treatment she prescribed, and it isn't safe or effective for everyone. If your doctor gives you the OK, look for a licensed or certified therapist who's completed an accredited training program. Ask the doctor for more advice if you live in a state that doesn't regulate massage.