The Scientific Benefits of Massage Therapy

The Scientific Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy feels great, but what are the scientific benefits of massage?

Current research tells us that massage therapy helps:

  • reduce levels of anxiety and depression;
  • improve quality and duration of sleep; and
  • decrease pain levels (general pain, chronic pain, headache, shoulder, neck, back, arthritis, postoperative, and jaw pain.)

Improvements in sleep, mood and pain levels can create windows of opportunity where you feel better and can move and socialize more. Enjoying movement, socializing and building strength can help you build momentum on your path to health and recovery. Find an RMT who you feel comfortable with, who is a good listener, and who is curious to find out what works best for you.

Our Vancouver RMTs have learned how to work with a variety of health conditions including:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Burn recovery
  • Bursitis
  • Cancer recovery
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic or persistent pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
  • Digestive concerns: constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn's Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches: tension, cluster and migraines
  • Hemiplegia
  • Intercostal neuralgia
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome (runner’s knee)
  • Insomnia
  • Medial and lateral epicondylitis (golder or tennis elbow)
  • Meniscus injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Musculoskeletal injuries including sprains, strains and fractures
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve injuries/compression
  • Numbness in arms or hands (peripheral neuropathies)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s
  • Patellofemoral knee pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Post-surgery recovery
  • Pregnancy/prenatal/postnatal
  • Respiratory concerns: asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica/piriformis syndrome
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Stress
  • Stroke/cerebrovascular accident
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)/jaw pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Torticollis
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Whiplash, concussions and more


Moyer CA, Rounds J, Hannum JW. “A Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy Research.” Psychological Bulletin, vol. 130, no. 1, March 2015, pp. 3-18. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from:

Field, T., Hernandes-Reif, M., Diego, M., Fraser, M.. “Lower back pain and sleep disturbance are reduced following massage therapy.” J Bodyw Mov Ther, vol. 11, no. 2, 2007, pp.141-145. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from:

Jane, S.W., Chen, S.L., Wilkie, D.J. et al.. “Effects of massage on pain, mood status, relaxation, and sleep in Taiwanese patients with metastatic bone pain: a randomized clinical trial.” Pain, vol. 152, no. 10, 2011, pp. 2432-42. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from:

Baker, S., McBeth, J., Chew-Graham, C.A., Wilkie, R. (2017). “Musculoskeletal pain and co-morbid insomnia in adults; a population study of the prevalence and impact on restricted social participation.” BMC Fam Pract, vol. 18, no. 17, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2021 from:

David, S., Wilt, J., Covington, E., Scheman, J. “Variability in the relationship between sleep and pain in patients undergoing interdisciplinary rehabilitation for chronic pain.” Pain Med, vol. 15, no. 6, 2014, pp. 1043-1051. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from:

Giannitrapani, KF, Holliday JR, Miake-Lye IM, et al. “Synthesizing the Strength of the Evidence of Complementary and Integrative Health Therapies for Pain.” Pain Medicine, vol 20, no. 9, 2019, pp. 1831–1840. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from:

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