There is always been a lot of debate regarding massage therapy, and that’s understandable for something that is probably older than written language. The truth is, we don’t really know when a lot of traditional massage therapy approaches actually became a thing. They were there when histories of ancient cultures began to be recorded, so there’s just no way to get there from here.
Over the years, opinions about massage have changed, due in some part to social attitudes – massage is an inherently intimate thing, no matter how professionally-handled it may be, but also as medical opinions change as well.
One thing can be agreed on, at least in most examples of trusted medical information, and that is that the general concept of massage does have its merits. However, it is not the miracle cure to various ailments that many people tend to think.
Generally-speaking, modern massage therapy does have more merits than traditional massage therapies, at least from a medical standpoint. That is, of course, predicated upon whether or not said practitioner actually factors in modern medical science in their “modern” therapy. There is a distinct difference between new-age philosophy, and modern medical science.
What about oils?
It’s easy to wonder where oil massage therapy fits into all of this. Well, there are modern and traditional massage therapies that both integrate oil into their practices. It depends on the oil. There is this very, very erroneous belief going around that of essential oils are some sort of miracle cure for everything. The truth could not be further from this. Sure, some oils do have health benefits by way of topical treatment, and others are pleasant, making excellent air fresheners, or even working to reduce stress, or even as pesticides. However, that’s about it.
Oil massage therapy actually doesn’t have much in the way of medical evidence for the oil itself doing that much. They can be pleasant, it can help to make the massage more effective in directly, but the oils themselves aren’t really going to do anything to promote health, other than maybe making your skin a little more pliable and moist, which can indeed be a good thing. They may help relax muscles, thus allowing the massage to be more effective, however, so there is nothing wrong with integrating oil into a massage.
Traditional massage therapies aren’t useless. They can be great for relaxing the muscles, helping to relieve pain, and helping to remove stress. However, their medical benefits tend to stop there. Medically-informed modern massage therapy takes into account the way musculature works, blood flow works, and how the nervous system works. This, not unlike chiropractic care, looks at the body as if it were a circuit, which it very much is.
Thus, a properly medically-informed practitioner of modern massage therapy can potentially provide more medical benefits than traditional therapies. However, even modern massage therapies are far from a cure for most medical issues, simply in analgesic. So, in the long run, it just depends on which of these you have found to be the most fulfilling, and the most effective for alleviating tension, stiffness, sore muscles and stress. Everyone is different, so in the long run, it just depends on your personal tastes.