I just read the reply from person with ankylosing spondylitis which i also have and i never had immune response from a good massage. I will say when i was getting them often ( more than one a week) i only had autoimmune diseases such as lupus, ra and others which many people have.
I had my rheum not do any tests except pressure point and said i had fibro well pain specialists said lets take at least x ray ...i have had AS for many years...most likely it was causing pain in my hips and back that i complained about to my rheum originally...so instead of helping to slow it down...now i just must be very careful to not damage or even cause my bones to break because they are so messed up!! 2nd major mistake from that same Rheum!!
But i have had massages with pain doctor blessing...I was just told as i would do anyways...if it hurts to make them do it lighter and tell them about my joint and back issues so start lighter rather than hard.
It might be oil they are using....either bring one you know is safe or ask for plain or different kind of oil even. most have at least 3 or 4 kinds of oils as well as many scents.
Insurance...i forgot to mention this...TENS out of body are only from $20 at your drugstore to less than $100 online. I do know that how it vibrates does make difference for me in how much it helps...so start at lower costing ones first. Insurance use to cover it but now many do not due to low price.
Massage, I know that some do cover it just depends...also same is true now for acupuncture which also might be helpful but read about it and make sure you have a real one...not just someone trained by so so one. They have different ways of identifying them...so again search online about. My mom swore it helped her back problems very much.
I tried it back then for my RA in feet and other places..helped a bit in other places but not in my feet at all. i been told they are very hard to treat for pain...or any part of our extremities. Most insurances are now covering it but you must make sure person you use is covered by them.
THere also is this machine which works from what i understand similar to TENS but should be more effective and work even on extremities. Problem is...there are very few doctors including chiropractors using it though some do and so mainly you must buy it and see if it works....about $1,000 so expensive for me at least.
People who wrote reviews on Amazon and other sites, most who have arthritis and other back problems swear by it and many have stopped using narcotic drugs completely on it or lowered their use greatly.
search for spinal cord stimulators and you will get many sites for information both about TENS and those implanted as well as pumps...pumps a drug.
here is link for other item....as you see also says it helps with sleep..cause stops pain ...but some other things such as anxiety. Now i did email them to ask how it works and how it can work on pain as well as anxiety ...i really did not get answer..nor did they seem to care much about making a sale. I asked about helping me locate some doctor in large area from where i lived to just try it and woman who answered my email seemed to blow that off as well. Since they are located in Oregon and i was asking where in oregon is just a chiro or doctor who could try it on me...and i got no answer...and i do not recall her reasoning...made me wonder.
I am fully aware how much placebo effect can help both positively and negatively with pain...so all i wanted was to try and have a doctor explain how it could work on me or how i have pain it may help one area but not all...which is what most pain specialists as well as orthopedic and rheum say.
BUT i am still curious about it...sure be nice to get off narcotic meds. I wish you the best and hope your insurance will cover massage....often it will if your doctor fights for you to get some assistance.