Massage Therapy Cannabis: A One-Two Punch in the Face of Pain

Ahhh, massage therapy…the ever overlooked lifesaver of so many. My career; my passion. I’ve seen my fair share of people living in pain. I’ve listened to countless stories of folks who went to their doctor for their pain first because they grew up being told that if something is wrong you see a doctor and trust what he says because he knows more than you do. Most often they were given pills without an actual diagnosis. And when the pills didn’t work, they were given different pills. And then steroid injections. And when all that failed, they were recommended for surgery.
Working as a massage therapist in a chiropractor’s office taught me a few things: general practitioners don’t seem to know very much about the musculoskeletal system or muscle pain in general, specialists don’t look at the body as a whole, and pain management specialists don’t seem to care as much about your well being as you were raised to believe a doctor does.
A shift happened somewhere in the last 30 years, when pharmaceutical companies started ruling the medical field. Pills typically prescribed for pain are usually extremely addictive and dangerous opiates, yet physicians hand them out like candy. More importantly, they’ve been doing so with little-to-no education regarding addiction. Worse yet, there’s no education about what these pills are even doing to solve the problem. Spoiler alert – it’s nothing. Pain narcotics work by blocking your pain receptors. In layman terms, they turn your nerves off so that you don’t feel the pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, so if you’re using a narcotic to block it, your body won’t improve and the side effects are likely to further impair your quality of life.
Enter Cannabis. Because THC is not yet readily available in my state, I’m going to focus on CBD. CBD is incredibly similar to chemicals that our bodies make naturally that are involved in the body’s reception of and response to pain. CBD is believed to reduce inflammation and relax tight muscles. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety and stress levels, which in turn is less stress on your muscles.
Many of the muscular issues people face can be remedied by reducing inflammation. Inflammation is increased blood flow to an area of the body that your nerves think is under attack. That ‘attack’ is lactic acid build up within your muscle fibers, commonly known as muscle knots (picture a steak with a pocket of fluid injected into it). Because of that lactic acid and extra blood flow, there is too much mass in the area and this causes your muscles to impinge your nerves. CBD helps reduce inflammation and deep muscle manipulation pushes out the lactic acid and helps restore proper muscle fiber length and blood flow. When CBD oils are used in conjunction with massage therapy, the results can be astounding.
I’ve been practicing massage for over seven years and have always wanted to be at the forefront of new techniques and/or applications that will help my clients. My passion for helping to rid people of chronic pain and bring back a quality of life some of them haven’t seen in decades made it impossible to ignore what the Cannabis plant has to offer.
I urge every single massage therapist out there to integrate CBD oil into all of their massages. I urge you to learn all there is to know about CBD, become wildly passionate about it and join the movement to help end opioid addiction and improve your clients’ lives. I also highly recommend having a line of salves, oils and lotions available on hand, as getting clients to do their part is a huge part of what we do. Send your clients home with a sample or allow them to purchase from you and have them use it in between visits to keep their inflammation at a minimum. The improvement to their life will not be forgotten and trust me, you want them to remember you for being the one to alleviate their chronic and debilitating pain.

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