Likely because there are so many different types of B vitamins each offering a slightly different benefit to the human body, people often can’t keep track of them, and their usefulness goes by the wayside. That is unfortunate, because Vitamin B supplementation can help a wide range of common health complaints. As a massage therapist, several of the problems associated with Vitamin B deficiency are highly probable to surface in your practice. Therefore, therapists with a firm grasp on these conditions and how supplementing with Vitamin B could be beneficial can share their knowledge with their clientele through the use of handouts prepared by a qualified professional.

The B vitamins are essential to many aspects of people’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. The Bs cannot be stored in our bodies, so we depend entirely on our daily diet to supply them. Since B vitamins are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars, nicotine and caffeine, it is no surprise that many people may be deficient.

More specifically, the B vitamins are necessary for maintaining healthy nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, mouth and muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, they are co-enzymes involved in energy production. Unless advised by a qualified health professional, the B vitamins should be taken together because they work as a team. Nonetheless, each B vitamin has a specific strength:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) and Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – Thiamin and riboflavin help the body produce energy and affect enzymes that influence the muscles, nerves and heart.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) – Niacin plays a crucial role in energy production in cells and helps keep the skin, circulatory system, nervous system and digestive system healthy.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – Known as the anti-stress vitamin, pantothenic acid influences normal growth and development.
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – Vitamin B6 helps the body break down protein and aids in the maintenance of red blood cells, the nervous system and parts of the immune system.
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin) – Besides contributing to the production of certain hormones, biotin helps break down protein and carbohydrates.
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – Often advised during pregnancy, folic acid helps the cells in the body make and maintain DNA, and is important in the production of red blood cells.
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) – Vitamin B12 plays a role in growth and development, as well as aiding in blood cell production, nervous system function and how the body uses folic acid and carbohydrates.

The National Academies of Science recommends that adults over the age of 50 take B vitamin supplements, or eat foods enriched with these vitamins, in order to prevent deficiency, which is common in this age group.

Whether impacting its physical, mental or emotional components, the nervous system is the primary recipient of Vitamin B’s gifts. All the members of the B vitamin family play crucial roles in promoting and insuring nerve health. A few examples include:

  • Thiamine and biotin promote healthy nerves.
  • Riboflavin aids in nerve insulation.
  • Niacin assists nervous system function.

While individual B vitamins have various strengths, a compilation of all the Bs (B-complex) is generally advised by nutritionists. B-complex has been used to help the following conditions commonly seen by massage therapists:

  •  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  •  Sciatica
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Neuropathies
  • Fatigue

Most massage therapists are accustomed to working with the conditions listed above. Skillfully applying different massage techniques can help improve these problems. However, those who are suffering, typically welcome additional help. By learning more about Vitamin-B complex supplements and how they can help clients with carpal tunnel, sciatica, depression, anxiety, PMS, neuropathy or fatigue, you will gain an extra tool for your practice and the ability to be of even more help to your clients.


Balch MD, James F., Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing Group Inc., Garden City Park, New York, 1990; 5-8., Vitamin for Depression?, Nancy Schimelpfening, Retrieved February 27, 2011,, 2010., Vitamin B Complex, Retrieved February 27, 2011, American Cancer Society, Inc., 2011., Coping with Nerve Pain – Vitamin B Relief, Retrieved February 27, 2011, Energy Times, February 2001., Vitamin B-Complex, Retrieved February 27, 2011, eVitamins, 2011., Niacin – The Energy Vitamin, Shelley Burns, Retrieved February 27, 2011, Skin Deep, Associated Skin Care Professionals, April/May 2007., Sciatic Nerve Pain – Is The True Cause Vitamin Deficiency?, Retrieved February 27, 2011,, 2011.