This is one of the oldest articles on PainScience.com, with bits and pieces of it dating back to the late 90s (though all edited and revised at some point). The update log is woefully incomplete, but that it will probably improve in 2015 and beyond.
New section (Feb 27 '15, section #4.1) — No notes. Just a new section. See section #4.1, Powerful bullshit: quackery pollution in massage therapy.
Upgrade (Feb 20 '15) — Added a table of contents (finally).
New section (Jan 15 '15, section #4.3) — Added an appendix about the Skeptical Massage Therapists Facebook group. See section #4.3, Appendix B: Skeptical massage therapists unite.
New section (Mar 19 '14, section #2.6) — New section about massage for fibromyalgia and Li et al. See section #2.6, Massage for fibromyalgia is less promising.
Science update (Aug 11 '13) — Updated several references, and added an important new one about massage for low back pain, which also spawned an entire new section about the failure of supposedly “advanced” massage techniques.
Minor update (May 2 '13, section #2.14) — Trivial but fun addition of the sloth cuddling cat video. See section #2.14, Personal growth: a massage benefit that may be impossible to define or measure.
Science update (Feb 14 '13, section #2.2) — Important good-science-news additions about the effects of stretching on heart rate regulation, and the effects of massage on anxiety and depression (it reduces them). See section #2.2, The scientific case for massage therapy.
Legacy update notices before 2013:
Saturday, August 4, 2012 — Minor update regarding DOMS.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 — A new item at the end of the myths section: “fascia matters.” And improved information about detoxification myths.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 — More on “tightness matters”: interesting evidence that massage therapists cannot reliably find the side of pain by feel.
Thursday, March 22, 2012 — Added a new massage myth that “tightness matters,” with an interesting footnote about palpatory pareidolia.
Friday, March 9, 2012 — Beefed up my explanation of how massage can be psychologically and emotionally important. See “Personal growth: a massage benefit that may be impossible to define or measure.”
Wednesday, 8 February, 2012 — Added references to the widely reported Crane et al study showing that massage supposedly “reduces inflammation.” It does not.
Wednesday, 21 December, 2011 — Added a list of “awkward questions” to demonstrate how hard it is to study what you can’t define. Also a few tweaks of related content.
Friday, October 28, 2011 — Added reference to a new article explaining common statistical errors that particularly afflict massage therapy research. Thoroughly revised the section, “The trouble with studying massage,” right near the top of the article.
Tuesday, 4 October, 2011 — Added reference to new research showing that massage therapy probably helps bone cancer pain.
Friday, August 26, 2011 — New section: “Personal growth: a massage benefit that may be impossible to define or measure.”
Friday, August 12, 2011 — Updated several references, and added an important new one about massage for low back pain, which also spawned an entire new section about the failure of supposedly “advanced” massage techniques.
Thursday, July 14, 2011 — Added an amusing video about massage.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 — Some updates to the recently added section, More about lactic acid and detoxication, especially concerning evidence that lactic acid is not responsible for muscle pain and fatigue.
Saturday, March 27, 2010 — Added a nice quote from Hall.
Friday, March 26, 2010 — New section based on fascinating new scientific evidence, More about lactic acid and detoxification.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 — Major revision, with focus on adding evidence about the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain, updating numerous citations, and better explanations of how massage research works (or doesn’t).
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 — Added information about the new study in Annals of Internal Medicine about massage therapy for cancer patients.