top of page

Serenity Kneaded Blog

Combining Massage and Acupuncture

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has never been more popular. Nearly 40 percent of adults report using complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine includes a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is generally regarded as additional treatment that is used alongside conventional medicine, whereas alternative medicine is regarded as a treatment used in place of conventional medicine. CAM practices are sometimes grouped into two areas: 1. Natural products include vitamins, minerals, herbs and other botanicals, probiotics, amino acids, and other dietary supplements. 2. Mind and Body practices include a wide variety of procedures and techniques, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, yoga, tai chi and qi gong, meditation, and relaxation techniques. The practice of combining Massage therapy and Acupuncture will be discussed here.

Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. Though the theory and principles that guide modern practice were written down about 2,000 years ago, some claim that acupuncture is even older. In terms of Chinese medical history, “2000 years ago” refers to the years between 200 BCE and 200 CE, give or take. Acupuncture and massage are used together to promote recovery in strained or damaged tissues. They both reduce pain and help you to heal more completely and quickly from injury or to manage chronic conditions like arthritis, migraines and pain related to old injuries

If you’re able to find an integrative setting, such as My Cambridge Health that offers both acupuncture and massage therapy, you’re in luck. Having providers that work together for your best interest is optimal. Allowing the licensed practitioners to confer about your condition and deciding which therapy is best for you will certain result in the best outcome. When you combine the power of Acupuncture with the benefits of massage, truly you experience an incredibly powerful healing combination. Some of the benefits are listed below, however the benefits to both are more exhaustive than this, with many overlapping similarities.

Massage Benefits

Relieves stress, Reduces anxiety, Manages low-back pain, Helps fibromyalgia pain, Reduces muscle tension, Relieves tension headaches, Helps to Sleep better, Eases symptoms of depression, Improves cardiovascular health, Reduces pain of osteoarthritis, Decreases stress in cancer patients, Decreases rheumatoid arthritis pain, promotes relaxation, Lowers blood pressure, Helps chronic neck pain, Increases range of motion, Decreases migraine frequency, Improves quality of life in hospice care

Acupuncture Benefits

Relieves Migraines, Prevents Nausea & Vomiting, Treats Anxiety, Stress Reduction, Reduces Insomnia, Improves the Immune System, Helps with Respiratory Problems, Digestive Disorders and, Weight Control, Improved Sleep, helps ease Chronic Pain, Helps joint pain, Helps smoking cessation, Relieves irritable bowel syndrome, helps with fertility issues, helps with neuralgia, post-operative convalescence, Treats Arthritis

Combining Acupuncture and Massage triggers a chain reaction that releases endorphins, analgesics and anti inflammatory into the problem areas. After the needles are out, typically the client is more relaxed, the pain is lessened, the inflammation is reduced and the muscles have decreased spasm. At this point, the client will not feel as much pain and discomfort from the massage. After the needles have done the bulk of the work lessening the acuteness of the pain, the massage can be gentler focusing on flushing out toxins and stretching the muscles back to their normal length.

It has been said by many that inflammation is the root of all evil. Inflammation, however is the body’s major line of defense to protect you from insults like viruses, bacteria, and trauma. Inflammation is precipitated by the body’s response to physical, emotional, chemical, or ionizing stress; anything that tries to upset the body’s delicate balance or homeostasis. Some inflammatory responses are necessary to promote recovery from injury or pathogen invasion (not body snatchers but strep bacteria, for example).

Acupuncture decreases inflammation. When a client is in acute pain there is usually some inflammation in the area. The inflammatory response releases neuro transmitter chemicals which heighten any pain response. Acupuncture goes deep directly to the problem area and starts reducing the inflammation right away allowing the massage treatment more freedom in targeting the problem areas.

There are many health problems which cannot be resolved by medicine alone. Also, determining the cause of some health problems can be very difficult. In some cases, acupuncture and massages have proved to be beneficial. Fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and nerve damage are some examples. Using a combination of massage therapy and medicine can provide better results for some patients.

Chinese Medicine includes not only Acupuncture, but Tui Na, Cupping, Gua Sha, Moxa (heat application), Chinese herbs used both internally and topically, lifestyle and dietary advice, Qi Gong and Meditation. All of these modalities are designed to be used together synergistically to create the greatest and most beneficial treatment.

When you combine the benefits of Acupuncture with the benefits of massage, these benefits are amplified. Once you’ve bypassed those superficial levels and gone to the root of the problem, the body relaxes and circulation improves. When you follow Acupuncture treatment with Massage, the massage treatment can go deeper and get farther to create positive change. It also helps to integrate the energetic and physical changes to set the treatment and make it longer lasting and more successful.

Whether you need relief from pain, stress, illness, injury, lack of sleep or trauma, Massage Therapy and Acupuncture are two amazing tools for their healing and restorative abilities.


bottom of page