As someone who has suffered from years of acute back pain, I can offer my testimony to the powers of a good massage. It seems that so much of my pain originated from tense muscles and pinched nerves that the massaging of my tissue was able to relieve me of the stress and unbearable pain that was the result.
While I don't know the origin of my pain, there is great debate among my doctors about it. Finally after recieving pain therapy for a very extended time, I decided to seek alternative treatment as to avoid the nasty side effects of heavy pain killers. When a freind suggested a massage, I laughed. How could some numbskull with oil make me feel better, I though. That is until I actually tried it.
The use of an effleurage was the perfect formula during the massage to release my tension and therefore my pain. The first back massager I used was good but not properly trained and I quickly moved onto someone with legitimate certifications.
This proper training can make all the difference and I would strongly recommend you look at someone's resume before you spend a lot of money for them to massage you. It's not a cheap activity but if you are anything like me, it means the difference between sanity and a world of hell.