Massage as Medicine?

PNH Massage Therapist Laura Plumb explains why massage will be important coming out of lockdown and how you can help support it to be available more widely in the future

Earlier in the week, I came across the petition at the end of this article. It has been around for a few years and not gathered as many signatures in that time as I would have expected. It makes the case for the financial and health benefits of providing massage on the NHS. It got me thinking again having posted earlier in the year about the potential benefits of ‘massage prescriptions’ as an alternative or supplement to other prescriptions and treatments. If I had drafted it I would say that the squeeze on funding is Government-led rather than place that at the hands of the NHS but otherwise, the points made are sound.

In some respects it seems a strange time to be raising the issue again – firstly, because the NHS has enough to think about at the moment and also because massage therapists may be some of the last to go back to work given the nature of what we do and the impossibility of doing it at a distance.
However, issues that existed before the coronavirus still exist and for many people will be getting worse during lock down – not least because of the emotional impact of the situation on top of physical conditions. Massage recognises that our physical and emotional states are intricately linked and the work we therapists do can affect both at the same time. Massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. It helps with pain management, muscle rehabilitation, improving circulation, increased flexibility and stress reduction. Not to mention improving posture and boosting the immune system.

Something else that will continue to hold true is that many people who would benefit from massages are not able to access them for financial reasons. Although it is not highlighted in the case made in petition, increasing access for people who can’t afford a massage is also a big driver for me in signing.

Have a look, see what you think, and sign it if you feel inclined.

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