Is massage therapy an “innocent” procedure? Part 4
Thank God, I always have been successful during my entire career. Somehow, from the very beginning, I understood that the development of hands-on skills is a lifelong process. In this respect, the sky is the limit. I also understood that massage being a science-based procedure, is also an art, and like any artist. We need inspiration and need to have it constantly.
As one can say: “if for many decades, massage therapist reproduces outcomes, what kind of inspiration does one need?”
What constantly fuels our inspirations? It is an ongoing development of a sense of touch, the development of clinical thinking, the passion for achieving results, and the celebration in our hearts of the great outcome.
My main goal in writing this series of articles is to try to inspire others.
Other people inspired me. I have explained in part 1, how by the comment of a nice fellow inspired me, leading me to rethink the greatness of massage. In the previous sentence, I said:” leading me to rethink the greatness of massage” practically realization of power/greatness of massage generated powerful therapeutic energy, that we using when treating sick people. Not to repeat me, please read the article The placebo effect and its role in massage therapy part ii
If inspirations of composers, writers, painters, and other artists, create energy to compose great music, etc. in our case inspiration of creating energy, allow us to deliver greater results.
These days, out of nowhere, the idea crossed my mind: “Is it possible that massive stimulations by massage, can lead to the prevention of cancer?”
I have a patient, who is a known oncologist, head of the Department at the local medical center; he is a clinician and a researcher, who has contributed a lot to the developments of immunotherapy. I wrote to him asking to have a short meeting with me, to clarify some questions I had. Upfront I told him, I couldn’t have written these questions, as I am positive he’d never be able to understand them in a written form because in this case, I would have difficulty explaining myself in writing.
Our conversation lasted for an hour and 20 minutes.
My first simple question was:” Is the main reason why cancer cells replicate themselves, is because they can hide from our immune system?” He said: ”Yes, Boris.” Next, I asked him “If immunotherapy would help our immune system to discover these cells, would the illness be overcome?” He agreed.
Then I asked him, whether some individual immune systems might be in the process of discovering and destroying cancer cells? Such people would never know that their immune system prevents them from developing cancer. He said “yes.”
Then I have asked him to listen carefully to my presentation on the physiological effect of massage on the human body.
I emphasized the fact that the therapist hands generate a huge amount of electrical activities, including and not limited to action potentials, piezoelectric potentials, streaming potentials, etc. I have explained to him in detail the mechanism of the somatovisceral reflex as well as the viscerosomatic reflex, how the massive electrical potentials stimulate the central nervous system, awakening multiple positive changes in the functions of organs and systems. Then I said:” I’m here to ask a question. Based on all I have presented, can we speculate that all these massive electrical activities possibly can mark cancer cells, thus exposing these cancer cells to the immune system?” It took him some time to think over my question and respond.
Numerous times, he asked me to extend my explanations further
In particular, he requested to explain again the concept of pathways of Piezoelectric and streaming potentials. When I explained it to the best of my knowledge, including stressed changes in electrophysiology of the tissues to normalize extracellular matrix, he said:” Boris, I trust your presentation on the physiological effect of massage on the human body. I could even envision what powerful potentials you are releasing and I think you can speculate that massage possibly can mark/expose cancer cells to the immune system.”
Then he continued: “As a researcher, I would say that a study like this should be undertaken, including control grouping. We have enough testing equipment, for early detection.” I smiled: “No one will do such extensive research. More so, I will never claim, that massage exposes cancer cells to the immune system. However, thanks to you and your answer, I feel I know that during my career, I and thousands of my colleagues, exposed cancer cells of our clients’ to the immune system, and maybe prevented them from tragedy.” He liked my response.
”After my meeting, I was thinking, that as an M.D. he uses different techniques to expose cancer cells to the immune system. After listening to me, he said: ”You can speculate that.”
Ross Turchaninov is an MD. Ph.D., but also a medical massage practitioner. No one knows the science of massage better than he does
I decided to ask him the same question: ”can we speculate that massive electrical activities massage therapists create under their hands, can expose cancer cells to the immune system?
He replied: ”Interesting enough. In the next issue of JMS, we plan to publish an article that possibly can echo with your speculation on the issue.”
To me, it was a “WOW” moment. What a coincidence! I cannot wait to read his upcoming article.
Practically today, while finishing this article, I again send an e-mail to this oncologist, just to clarify a few more details. He started explaining to me about cytotoxic T cells, and about how it triggers a response from the immune system, etc. Of course, I appreciated his explanations. Yet, between us, I wasn’t interested in all the “scientific” explanation. What will I do with this information? Can I place this printed email against the body of my client?
I asked: “Tumor, edema, etc. increase pressure in ECM. And it is a fact that massage therapy can decrease pressure within ECM( extracellular matrix). When we treating sprain strain type of injury, we achieve a decreased pressure within ECM (extracellular matrix). Would this fact additionally support my speculations?” He answered: “Yes, it would. It would add to all your explanation, you have offered during our meeting”.
Once again I’d like to stress the following point. As much as we know about the effects of massage on the human body, and the multiple positive changes in functions of organs and systems caused by the original stimulation, including those on the cellular level, it’s still is the tip of the iceberg.
My opinion is based on my longtime clinical experiences. We all would agree: ”nothing in medicine is written in stone. Repeatedly seeing unexplainable, witnessing so-called “miracle changes”, in certain cases, I cannot think differently. We only know a fraction of what the real therapeutic power of massage. Scientific base as we know it today is huge, but still, it’s the tip of the iceberg.
How one can explain the phenomenon that I once presented in my writings? Six years ago, a Parkinson patient was referred to me. He developed a sharp pain in his lower back. While treating his lower back we’ve inhibited the panic attack he developed on the table. Besides, by performing massage on his neck and upper back, not only that we eliminated painful muscular crump in the lower back, but also stopped his shaking.
Last six years I continued to give him maintenance treatments.
Today he is playing tennis and driving a car. Two years ago, this patient insisted to repeat a CT scan, with radioactive dopamine contrast. Images showed that he is a Parkinson patient, but clinically he demonstrated no symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. There are many more unexplainable cases. As I have stated previously, being artists, it’s extremely important to have an inspiration. This was the reason why I decided to share my speculations with you. Yet those speculations are based on massage science, logical thinking, and clinical experiences.
Often, when describing the physiological effect of massage, I say that the stimulation leads to multiple positive changes in the functions of organs and systems. Is massage therapy an “innocent” procedure? It just crossed my mind, that this question requires a more extensive answer.
In my next blog, in the simplest way possible, I will discuss it more extensively.
I hope that so far, in previous parts of “Is massage therapy an “innocent” procedure?”
I already made my point: ”no, massage procedure can be considered “innocent”, but safe and extremely powerful.
As always questions, agreements, and disagreements are welcome.
- Article List
- Use of massage in case of severe concussion
- Addressing lateral abdominal walls
- Physiological bases of fascia release and mobilization
- The case of “Breaking my fascia”
- Historical overview of fascia release mobilization