Can massage techniques be equated with remedies?


Based on my experiences practicing medical and sports massage for many years, I can say with conviction that, although massage techniques cannot be equated to remedies, in certain cases it is possible to discover or rediscover additional healing power that the use of massage techniques can entail.

It is important to add those techniques to the existing ones, developed by scientific research and clinically proven for many years. This is what massage therapy is all about, to achieve faster and sustainable results.

Physical wounds can heal well but psychological trauma associated with physical injuries can continue destroying health to take away persons’ life.

I was in the middle of writing an article, the link you can find in the conclusion section, has received a call from an MD who works in urgent care in my neighborhood. I know this doctor for some time, had the opportunity to treat his lower back, and received numerous referrals from him.

He said:

”Boris I have a referral for you”

I answered

“Thank you, sir, I didn't reopen my office yet, even don't have recommended PPE(pandemic protective equipment).”

He replied:

“Don't worry about it, you can use my facility and I will provide for you all the required PPE.”

I felt the urgency and asked him to present the case.

Almost 2 years ago, a dog viciously attacked a 29-year-old male who and sustained injuries, such as wounds to the scalp, head trauma, wounds to the neck and chest.

Paramedics stabilized him. An ambulance delivered him to a local medical center. After spending five days in the hospital,  he continued to receive treatments at the outpatient facility for another two months. The wounds healed well, but one could still notice  the scar tissue. For the last eleven months, the patient was diagnosed with essential palatal tremor and Trigeminal neuralgia. While for the last four months he was diagnosed with glossopharyngeal neuralgia.

The doctor added:

“Poor guy.The second time he is in my office, this time with the severe clinical picture; an obvious panic attack. We suppressed his panic attack, but couldn’t do much. At this point, I have to refer him to ER, but, honestly, I don't believe ER doctors could do much for him. Maybe you can try?”

I asked the doctor if the obvious symptoms of glossopharyngeal neuralgia are responsible for a major clinical picture that led the patient to urgent care.  He responded:

”I cannot tell for sure. It’s a mess!”

I pondered… In a situation like this, the healing of physical wounds means little.  I remembered that several years ago I received a young man viciously attacked by a dog.  During the eight months after the attack, he developed a very difficult case of fibromyalgia. It was a challenging case.  I felt proud that I succeeded and achieved sustainable results.  This new case seemed like another big challenge and I decided to take it. Thinking about it I said out loud…

”… body and mind are inseparable. Luckily medical massage allows successfully to address somatic abnormalities, as well as to stimulate the healing process of psychological trauma.”

I shared with him my thoughts and started to explain to him professor Melzack's Neuromatrix theory of pain and anxiety, and significant role medical massage can play in cases of central sensitization.

Suddenly the doctor interjected:

“Boris forgot to tell you, this fellow has no money and won't be able to pay you.”

Well, I thought,  "one has to do what one has to do", and sometimes this “has to do” included “pro bono” and finished our phone conversation by saying:

”I can assure you while placing my hands on patients, I don't think about compensation. With us it’s like with musicians; the moment they start playing, they are in a different world, and cannot tell whether they are playing a concert for money, or practicing, or whatever.”

When I saw the patient, it became clear what a difficult case this was. Even under medications, I could see pain and desperation reflected on his face. I felt that every moment the patient’s mood could escalate to a full-scale Hysteria. I couldn't speak to the patient, I couldn't move him. Thus, I had no choice but to start working with my hands. The situation demanded me to cut the initial interview and evaluation short.

He could barely rotate his neck vertically and while opening his mouth exhibit more than a limited range of motion. While attempting these movements his eyes were wide open. Again, I was under the impression that in his any moment this person could demonstrate a complex of hysterical symptoms.

Briefly, I explained to him that what I was about to do was a pleasant procedure, which would help him relax, and allow him to feel better. I could see that he was relieved.

It was a matter of primary importance to calm the patient down. By the reaction of his muscles to even light touch, it was obvious that he had a very low threshold of pain. Therefore, my most important challenge was to increase this threshold. I couldn't start from our usual introductory massage in an inhibitory regime. Needed to alternate, improvise. Very gently, by grabbing folds of his skin and slowly squeezing muscles. Then little by little I started introductory massage in the inhibitory regime, without lubrication.  Tenderness and sensitivity at this moment was an absolute must, as more intensive movement like those with lubrication could have provoked the panic attack and/or muscular protective spots.  Then, after approximately ten minutes working without lubrication, when I felt that I increased his threshold of pain, I added lubrication and could move more freely. 

I felt relieved when after 15 minutes of the procedure the fellow fell asleep. It was a good moment to see him falling asleep as I prepared myself to witness a full-scale hysteria. I started utilizing some compression. There was no muscular protective spasm, and he didn't wake up. The rest of the treatment, for 35 minutes, was my usual performance: the usual pressure, usual connective tissue massage, and muscular mobilization. Then I decided to follow intuition and performed techniques to release acetylcholine.

I performed these techniques more intensely, a bit similar to periosteum massage, but applying wider movements. In cases of the low threshold of pain, it is impossible to perform these techniques with quality. He did wake up, but I continued to perform techniques to release acetylcholine, while only asking him whether I applied too much pressure. He responded that the pressure was good and the procedures felt pleasant. I knew we are on a way out of his misery. After the first treatment, the objective and subjective improvement were noticeable. When the doctor stepped into the room, he couldn't believe what he saw. He told to the patient

“It looks like you are feeling better.”

The patient answered,

“Yes don't know what happened, but my brain is not fogey and I am not experiencing sharp pains in my throat and ear, like before.”

I have explained to the doctor that mainly, I was focusing on the neck, upper back, and on implementing the entire TMJ protocol. The doctor said that from the very beginning he was questioning glossopharyngeal neuralgia. I said

"most likely glossopharyngeal neuralgia was a misdiagnosis."

And added "In such a case who cares about diagnosis, it looks like I will be able to help him."

The patient already received five treatments, and he feels much better. Greatly increased motion in the neck area, as well as motion in the TMJ, was a significant improvement. The subjective report was also encouraging. For a complicated case like this, such improvements are pretty rapid.  I attributed them to the incorporation of the release of acetylcholine techniques.

For many years, I excluded these techniques from medical massage protocols, while at the same time successfully using them in pre-event sports massage. And now I am proud to report that even excluding the release of acetylcholine techniques, I was able to sustained results in more than 80% of similar difficult cases.

Should I avoid incorporating the release of acetylcholine techniques,it is possible I would still achieve sustainable results, but most likely, it would take many more procedures. This might sound banal, but as therapists, we must strive to change a difficult clinical picture as fast as possible because relieving people of suffering is our duty.

As to this case, to sustain the results, I am planning to provide ten more treatments. Wish me luck.

In my mind, I am considering the conclusion and summary of this article, as real content and this content I would like to share with you.


Friends, further, in conclusions and the summary I will refer to the Russian Doctor researcher that I mentioned in an original article.

From my original article:

Actually, the scientific data I rediscovered wouldn’t change the way I'm practicing sports massage. Instead, it readjusted, enriched, and broaden my understanding of the power of massage. It, certainly, gave me the opportunity to share with you, extremely powerful details of massage procedure.

From my original article:

Please don't get me wrong. The entire pre-event sports massage protocol is “must do” to achieve desirable results. All steps in the entire sequence compliments each other. But today we are talking about the role of massage in maintaining the fluidity of blood, as well as the importance to release acetylcholine.

From my original article:

Then he continued: “Boris this is not only a matter of fluidity. No doubt it is important to maintain fluidity, and various Chernich’s techniques, remarkably, achieving it. “The application of Chernich’s techniques combined with the release of acetylcholine techniques, allowed us to constantly maintain the sufficiently high blood supply volume at the capillary network, suppress anticholinergic, and release acetylcholine. The measured level of acetylcholine in blood was indicative of suppressed anticholinergic.  

From my original article:

According to Krasnova, even though some individuals sustained higher than normal blood fluidity, it didn't change significant passage time. 

From my original article

By 1969, there was enough data and available techniques to elicit the same effect of releasing acetylcholine. Using controlled studies based on biorhythms and the available data, they have developed scientifically and most importantly clinically proven, powerful massage techniques to release acetylcholine, as we know it today.

From my original article

I also asked him, if granted a person accumulated a lot of metabolic waste, I won't perform detoxification techniques, but only use techniques to release acetylcholine, would it positively affect blood supply volume at the capillary network. He said yes, for a short time. Then I inferred “In such a case as you describe, detoxification is must be done.” His answer was yes.

From my original article:

Then I asked him, why during the educational process the professors didn't require us to do manual acceleration of lymph drainage along with pre-event sports massage? His answer was:” We didn't see the need. By constantly providing post-event rehabilitative massage, we stimulated accelerated drainage of lymphatic fluid and promoted the disposal of metabolic waste.

From my original article:

I have rephrased my question. If I will perform detoxification procedure only, without special techniques allowing to release acetylcholine, would it affect the positive volume of the capillary network? He said: ”We researched it. Regrettably performing detoxification procedures only didn’t have much effect on the release of acetylcholine. So to accomplish releasing acetylcholine we had to apply the pre-event techniques as well.” 

From my original article:

Today with even greater clarity I realize how important it is to incorporate these techniques in pre-event sports massage, as well in other types of medical-massage. And knowing what I know today I appreciate this awesome massage protocol I was performing for forty-six years. The effect of this protocol is not releasing acetylcholine only. The successful massage procedure assesses the improvement and normalization of blood volume in the capillary network. By succeeding in it, we should expect improvement in the functioning of internal organs and the Muscular skeleton system.

Here is a link to my original article.


From my original article:

I talked to the doctors three times, each time for more than an hour. I took notes, and if I would try to present all of them, it would have to write many articles. Each sentence would have at least 10 extended interpretations. Should these additional avenues of discussion would ignite interest, we can manage these discussions on-line

I have asked the doctor whether the pre-event massage techniques are the only techniques allowing to release of acetylcholine.

He said that kneading and friction also contribute to the release of acetylcholine, but not to the extent that pre-event sports massage can achieve. Then he continued:

”The unique discovery we did, was that for example kneading techniques, greatly contribute to vasodilation of big blood vessels, but not to the same degree, affecting dilation of capillary vessels, where is the metabolic exchange happens. Pre-event sports massage techniques release acetylcholine much more massively, greatly improving capacity, the blood passage time through the capillary network, but not as effective when it comes to large arteries. Each technique is complementary to others.

Extensive unlimited research allowed us to investigate the effect of different massage techniques on functions of organs and systems, and then to select and combine the most effective massage techniques for medical and sports massage protocols. I said:

”I wish I would know these additional details regarding the release of acetylcholine techniques.”

He started laughing and said:

“You probably fell asleep in class when I  discussed these details.”

Then he added:

”To make you feel better, none of us incorporated these techniques in medical massage protocols. There was no need as we achieved great results without incorporating the release of acetylcholine techniques. It was necessary only in the pre-event sports massage. Today talking to you I believe it was a mistake not to incorporate the release of acetylcholine techniques in other medical massage protocols”

He continued:

”If a therapist not going to address reflex zone abnormalities, and try to increase blood supply by releasing acetylcholine techniques only, he or she won’t achieve results and possibly only aggravate the condition.”

I was proud to tell him that in my article published at massage magazine, where I explained in detail the importance of addressing abnormalities in reflex zones, emphasizing that the reluctance to do that is counterproductive as it prevents the attempts to achieve results and incorporate stretching.

When I felt like we almost exhausted our discussion I asked:

”Maybe you have discovered any other data in that research?”

My goodness!  Asking this question, I felt like a young student in front of a scholar. I told him that I felt like a novice talking to him. His answered:

”… don't worry, never again will you be the beginner, but feeling this way is the evidence of you still improving your skills.”

I replied :

“… or yes. I know that in regards to our skills developments, the sky is the limit, but you and professor Dembo always were my icons.”

His answer was direct and convincing:

”Boris, if at this very moment, I would have the opportunity to talk with professor Dembo, who always was my icon, most likely, I would also feel like a young student, the beginner. This is the nature of things.  Much is happening in the scientific world and sometimes we have the possibility of unexpected discoveries. In 1969, when we worked to improve  Serazini’s pre-event sports massage protocol, one of the members of our team was a 52-year-old male. Numerous times he, as a model, received pre-event sports massage including, the release of acetylcholine techniques. One day he admitted, that before receiving a massage he developed erectile dysfunction. Suddenly after receiving numerous pre-event sports massage, he got significant improvement, and gain his sexual potential back.”

The doctor continued:

”It was interesting, and we all started looking for an explanation. We got it. It turned out that the release of acetylcholine, triggering the release of Nitric Oxide. After this discovery, since 1969, I personally help to many males who suffered from ED.”

Also, this wonderful doctor real scholar in medical and sports massage, told me how they discovered that techniques of releasing acetylcholine, could be very useful in cases of neuropathodynamics. This is a very long and very important presentation, I will do it in a separate blog.

Dear colleagues, as you understand there are no techniques in massage that could be equated with remedy.

Best wishes,

Boris Prilutsky

PS. My upcoming educational video will concentrate on the release of acetylcholine techniques, including mostly hands-on demonstrations and explanations, and would be based on my recent article.

Please subscribe to my channel to receive notifications when new educational materials are available.

We decided not to post links to new video releases, at FB and other professional groups, because not everyone has an interest in my work, and we are not striving to annoy people who have no interest.

Recently we made a video, where I'm explaining the role of medical massage in post-surgical rehabilitation, as well as demonstrating hands-on protocols.

If you have the interest to learn from this educational material, you're welcome to visit our channel.

Thank you

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