Chronic Pain
Few things are as distressing as chronic pain. It saps your energy
and takes an emotional toll. Over time pain can become a vicious
cycle with a life of its own, sometimes persisting even after the
original cause is resolved.
Massage is one of the most overlooked, yet accessible supportive
measures you can seek for chronic pain.
3523 Paoli Pike
Floyds Knobs, IN 47119
812 948-2799
"There is no substitute for the human touch"
The Pain Cycle
The pain cycle is a complex chain of events which reinforce each other. It often begins with
injury or illness, but each element, especially stress can add to or even start the cycle.
Massage is unique in addressing most of the pain cycle elements.
Muscle tension
Muscles automatically contract around any painful site to support and protect the area. If
pain is resolved quickly, muscles relax. If pain persists, muscles can become habitually
contracted. Sometimes contractions press on nerves causing tingling, numbness and more
pain.
Muscle tension
Muscles automatically contract around any painful site to support and protect the area. If
pain is resolved quickly, muscles relax. If pain persists, muscles can become habitually
contracted. Sometimes contractions press on nerves causing tingling, numbness and more
pain.
Reduced circulation
Like a sponge that is squeezed, a contracted muscle can't hold much fluid. Tight muscles
reduce circulation, allowing waste products from inflammation and from normal muscle
function to accumulate. This can leave you feeling fatigued and sore, reducing your energy
reserves. It can also irritate nerves causing pain to spread through the tense area.
Trigger Points
Over time, areas with poor circulation form trigger points in both muscles and their
connective tissue coverings called fascia. Trigger points are highly irritable spots that refer
pain. Tingling or some other sensation elsewhere in the body, usually in a predictable pattern.
As muscles tense around referred pain, the cycle spreads.
Muscle shorting
In any area with chronically poor circulation, the body eventually lays down collagen fibers,
which are  the building blocks of scar tissue. This natural reaction can glue muscles and fascia
into a shorten state. Massage increases circulation, re hydrating, and softening contracted
fascia, so it can be lengthened by stretching and kneading. Massage can also separate muscle
and fascia fibers that collagen adhered together.
Restricted movement
Irritating waste products, painful trigger points, and shortened muscles make even simple
actions difficult and tiring. As your capacity for movement and exercise decrease you lose the
most important means for maintaining good circulation throughout your body.
Massage helps restore normal movement by releasing trigger points, removing waste
products, and stretching shortened muscles. In addition, because you feel better after a
massage you may discover renewed energy and motivation for physical activity.
Stress and pain
Our reactions to stress have changed very little since early times. When we are threatened
our muscles tense for action and circulation decreases to areas not needed to fight or run.  
Unfortunately this does not help with modern stresses such as family conflicts, work
deadlines, or money worries. When we are unable to relax muscle tension and impaired
circulation can and do contribute directly to the pain cycle.
To make matters worse chronic pain itself is a major source of stress. It drains you
emotionally robbing you of patience and stamina. It interrupts your sleep leaving you tired
and irritable. You worry about its cause and if you will ever get better. As pain makes
normal activity difficult, your anxiety increases. Will you be able to keep working? Where
will you get the money for treatment?
Massage and Stress
Massage acts on the nervous system to counter the stress response, relaxing muscle tension
and allowing heart rate, blood pressure and circulation to return toward normal. Many
people sleep better after a massage which helps the body heal and renews emotional reserves.
A massage also helps you become aware of unconsciously held tension, and how it feels to
relax. This helps you recognize and release tension later, before it creates a problem.
Allowing someone else to give you the care and comfort of a relaxing massage can give you
much needed emotional support in a time of stress.