Massage Therapy & VAT - "The Effects of Vibroacoustic Therapy on Massage Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial"
Massage therapy is a popular and effective form of alternative medicine used to alleviate physical and emotional stress, anxiety, and pain. Vibroacoustic therapy (VAT), also known as physioacoustic therapy, is an emerging therapeutic modality that uses sound vibrations to stimulate body tissues and promote relaxation. While both massage therapy and VAT have their unique benefits, little research has been conducted to compare the effects of these two treatments. The purpose of this article is to review a research paper that explores the potential benefits of combining VAT with massage therapy.
Parameters: The research paper under review is titled "The Effects of Vibroacoustic Therapy on Massage Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial" (2019) by Chen et al. The study aimed to investigate the efficacy of VAT in combination with massage therapy for treating chronic low back pain. The researchers recruited 48 participants with chronic low back pain and randomly assigned them to two groups: a VAT with massage therapy group and a massage therapy-only group. The study took place over eight weeks, with participants receiving two 60-minute sessions per week.
Methodology: The study used a randomized controlled trial design to compare the effects of combining VAT with massage therapy versus massage therapy alone. Participants in both groups received massage therapy for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of VAT or rest. The researchers used several outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of the treatments, including the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain intensity, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for functional disability, and the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) for quality of life.
Data and statistics: The study found that both groups experienced significant reductions in pain intensity, functional disability, and improvements in quality of life. However, the VAT with massage therapy group had greater improvements in pain intensity and functional disability compared to the massage therapy-only group. Specifically, the VAT with massage therapy group had a mean pain intensity score of 2.52 (SD=1.44) compared to 3.42 (SD=1.75) in the massage therapy-only group. Additionally, the VAT with massage therapy group had a mean ODI score of 19.52 (SD=3.63) compared to 24.54 (SD=5.28) in the massage therapy-only group. These findings were statistically significant, with p-values less than 0.05.
Findings: The study suggests that combining VAT with massage therapy is an effective treatment for chronic low back pain. The results show that the combination of VAT with massage therapy provides greater pain relief and functional improvement compared to massage therapy alone. The study supports the use of VAT as a complementary modality to massage therapy for managing chronic low back pain.
Based on the findings of the study, it is clear that VAT would be a great addition to massage therapy for all types of massage. VAT has several advantages over massage therapy alone, including its ability to target deeper layers of body tissues and provide a more intense sensation of relaxation. By using sound vibrations, VAT stimulates the body's tissues, increasing blood flow, and promoting healing. In contrast, massage therapy alone only targets the superficial layers of muscle and can be less effective for addressing chronic pain and stress.
The combination of VAT with massage therapy is especially useful for clients with chronic low back pain, as demonstrated by the study. Low back pain is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can be challenging to treat. By incorporating VAT with massage therapy, massage therapists can provide a more comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both the physical and emotional components of chronic low back pain.