Fri, 2014-10-10 07:22

World Arthritis Day

World Arthritis Day is celebrated on 12th October every year, and in 2014 the theme is Living Better, Ageing Well.

Arthritis New Zealand Chief Executive Sandra Kirby’s notes that the day is “an opportunity to highlight the fact that although there isn’t yet a cure for any form of arthritis with the right support most people with arthritis can live active and fulfilling lives.”1

Massage and Arthritis

It is an ideal time to discuss if massage can assist in treating some of the symptoms of arthritis.

Regular massage of muscles and joints, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis.2 Massage can also promote better sleep that can in turn relieve pain in muscles and joints.2

Massage can work by helping to reduce inflammation, encouraging muscle relaxation and stimulate healing of connective tissue or damaged muscles. Massage also can increase blood circulation.

Arthritis Research UK3 has discussed in their 2013 report on complementary therapies4 that massage can be effective depending on the form of arthritis, but is judged as safe with rare minor side effects.

  • Fibromyalgia – Massage is rated a 5, meaning there is consistent evidence across at least two high quality trials to suggest massage is effective in treating symptoms.
  • Lower Pack Pain – Massage is again rated a 5
  • Osteoarthritis – Massage is rated a 2, meaning there is a little evidence from one or two lower quality trials which have reported positive results.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – there is no identified trails on which to make a judgement.

The double benefit of massage: While each session feels great, the therapeutic benefits are grow when massage is frequent or regular. The more you go, the healthier you feel.

Over 300,000 adults are living with Osteoarthritis in New Zealand, 2% of adults likely to experience Fibromyalgia in their lifetime, and lower back pain is all too common. If you are amongst these then consider trying a massage to see if you feel the benefits.

Bai Pho Thai Massage and Spa

At Bai Pho Thai Massage we have a range of massage styles that will all help:

  • Balinese – the most relaxing style with long flowing strokes
  • Thai Oil – with more acupressure and stretching, the “lazy persons yoga”
  • Deep Tissue – discuss with your therapist throughout the level of pressure you are comfortable with
  • Hot Stone – the additional warmth from the stones may also be beneficial as it increases blood flow and aids circulation

If you have not tried a massage at Bai Pho then take advantage of our first visit special of $59 for a 60min massage and we hope you can live better and age well!


Massage is not medicine. It’s a complement to your doctor-prescribed arthritis treatment. You should enjoy experiencing a massage, and it should not increase your pain or anxiety.

Communication with your massage therapist before your massage can ensure that massage is right for you and help you achieve beneficial results. Point out any affected joints and note if they should be focussed on more than normal or avoided.

Remember: Massage should make your arthritis pain and stiffness feel better, not worse.



2 Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who’s conducted a number of studies on the benefits of massage, including on people with arthritis.