bool(false) Is the effectiveness of massage based on its intensity? - Sian Chay Medical Institution

Is the effectiveness of massage based on its intensity?

18 Apr 2019

Is the effectiveness of massage based on its intensity?

——Dr. Wang Lin Hong, Sian Chay Medical Institution, Moulmein-Cairnhill Branch

Q: I like massage very much and I go for massage every month. There are different types of massages in the market; namely, Javanese, Thai, Swiss, deep muscles and sports massages. What is the difference between these different types of massages.

A: The massages in the market are mainly for wellness and relaxation. Therefore, it has the effect of soothing muscles and reducing fatigue, as a complementary therapy.

In fact, all the massages have the effect of lowering blood pressure and relieving pain. But different age groups are suitable for different types of massage. This is something that most people will overlook. For example, the Thai massage ( high intensity) is not suitable for older people. Because the joints of the elderly are stiff and fragile and therefore vulnerable to damage.

Many people ask me whether joint pain is associated with muscle pain. Since massage can soothe muscle pain, is it also a good relief for joint pain?

In fact, joints and muscles are not same. Muscle is part of the joints. But joints also include bones, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, and soft tissues. We should say that joints and muscles have a causal relationship. Degeneration of joints can involve soft tissue and cause pain, so soft tissue pain is just a sign, and the effect is minimal with massaging the skin alone. On the contrary, massage will have a certain effect on the local pain caused by falling, without fractures.

Common joint pains, such as knees, shoulders, elbows and wrists, can be alleviated by self-massage if it is caused by strain. e.g :

  • Knee joint pain is caused by degenerative knee arthritis: self-massage will relieve pain for a short time.
  • neck and shoulder muscle fatigue and pain: self-massage on the trapezius muscle can also relieve pain. However, if the pain persists for a long time and cannot be soothed, then the possibility of cervical spondylosis should be considered and a diagnosis by a professional physician should be sought if necessary.
  • Golfer’s elbow, and tennis elbow: self-massage and proper rest will relieve the pain.
  • There is a possibility of a small joint disorder in the wrist pain. If the pain cannot be relieved in a short time, it is necessary to consider resetting and fixing the wrist.


Is the effectiveness of massage based on its intensity? Some people often ask me this question. Some people even think that if they don’t feel pain during massage, the tensed muscles or the painful joints are not treated.

In fact, the strength of massage should be determined by the body shape and age of the patient. It is definitely not based on intensity. Massage generally feel slightly sore. Excessive strength can worsen the local inflammation, and even severe cases can lead to fractures, paralysis and even death. Therefore, it cannot be taken lightly.

It is important to note that pain is a symptom of a physical condition. It can be caused by many different reasons. Joint pain may be caused by strain, acute sprain, arthritis, gout, ligament soft tissue injury, fracture, tumor and some autoimmune diseases.

In addition, muscle pain may also be caused by trauma, traction, and neurogenic factors. Ice application can reduce swelling and contract blood vessels. Generally speaking, cold compresses should be applied to those symptoms by acute sprains with redness and swelling within 24-48 hours, such as gout.

Hot compresses can dilate blood vessels, promote blood circulation, remove stasis and relieve spasm. Hot compresses can also be applied to chronic inflammatory diseases such as Achilles tendinitis and calf gastrocnemius cramp.


Dietary Therapy Prescription

Raw barley water:

Ingredients: raw barley 30g, dried tangerine peel 6g, water.

Practice: After cooking the barley, take while hot. 2-3 times a week.

Efficacy: Raw barley has the effect of inhibiting skeletal muscle contraction, reducing muscle spasm, inhibiting striated muscle contraction, and relieving muscle tension. Dried tangerine peel can prevent barley from being too cold. If the patient often stays in the air-conditioned room, it is recommended to add 2-3 slices of ginger in to cook together.

  • Smilacis Glabrae Rhizoma Chicken Breast Soup:

Ingredients: Smilacis Glabrae Rhizoma 20g, chicken breast with bones, water

Practice: Cook all the chicken breast and take while hot. Drink up the soup.

Efficacy: The SGR has the effect of detoxification, dehumidification, benefiting joints, Qi and stomach, which is of help gout and arthritis.

This article was published on April 14, 2019, Zaobao Weekly

Special Thanks to Ms. Kang Xiujin