When I was a massage therapist — soooo long ago now — I often saw seemingly impressive clinical results.
As I studied the science of massage other hands-on therapies, I eventually realized that I couldn’t take much credit for those results. After subtracting all the confounding factors, delusions and illusions, plus all the genuine perks of a strong “therapeutic alliance,” what was left? What genuine treatment effects, unique to massage?
Those fell well short of “miraculous” and were probably more like, um, “occasionally slightly helpful.” 😕
But that’s not nothing! It really isn’t. And neither are the non-specific effects of any kind of compassionate healthcare.
Massage therapists are often discouraged by my writing, which was never what I wanted, and that is why I now have a short article devoted to reassuring them. *Massage is still a good thing, I pinkie swear.