What is “Pain Science?”


The definition of pain, according to the International Association for the Study of Pain, is: “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”


In an article entitled: “What Does Pain Science Mean For Massage Therapists?”, author Rajam Roose, a massage therapist of over 16 years, writes:


“Pain science isn’t a technique or a modality; it’s more about a paradigm shift in the reasoning behind our work. As massage therapists, we tend to view pain science as something that is beyond our scope. We also seem to think it means that we have to toss everything we have learned. But nothing could be further from the truth, she writes, adding, “For example, pain science shows that when someone is in pain and they experience additional stress, such as the loss of a pet, their pain worsens. So, stress can increase the brain’s perception of pain.


What’s Massage Therapy’s Role In Pain Science?


Massage therapy can help to ease physical pain associated with overworked muscles, and with that physical relief can come emotional relief as well.


Massage can reduce stress, and thereby help the client feel less pain. With less pain, the client may be more willing to try a new exercise program; or she may find the ability to do more activities around the house,” Roose writes.


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