True healing rarely comes in one form alone and it is a cumulative process to achieve. Many of my clients do not like taking daily pills, so they choose massage therapy, natural doctors, and chiropracters to help them avoid this. But it is Medicine vs. Massage? No- it is just not so simple.
If you get a prescription, the doctor tells you to take "x" number of pills and take them until they are gone. This is to achieve that cumulative effect. But other IMPORTANT factors include: diet, sleep, water intake, exercise, and emotional health. These all weigh into how well a prospective "cure" can be effective for someone.
If you have a chronic problem that you are addressing with massage therapy- say nagging headaches or severe low back pain for example, a one hour massage session is not going to cure the problem. Just as you wouldn't expect one medical pill to completely eliminate your pain or problem permanently. It is just not a realistic expectation.
The best effects are found after cumulative actions are taken. Rest, increased water comsuption, eating balanced meals, excercising regularly and taking responsibility for yourself and your emotions make this change work more quickly in your favor.
For a chronic pain condition, a series of 4-6 sessions is a reasonable time table for corrective change to become a more permanent reality. And sometimes, it can take longer.
The fact is that your muscles spent weeks or months seizing up before the "pain wall" broke and you started to feel this chronic pain all the time. You probably even noticed pain from time to time for weeks before that. And those muscles were tightening down even before you felt anything. So expect that it can take more than a one time session to "cure" any chronic pain you are experiencing!