EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Stress, anxiety, and pain can dramatically restrict anyone's lifestyle and negatively affect their overall health. Take care of yourself. Research on the benefits of massage therapy gives strong evidence for including massage as part of an approach to staving off pain and relieving stress and anxiety.
Anyone who has ever had a massage to relax knows its effect, but research shines a light on the science behind what takes place during massage. For more than 20 years, studies have shown some of the positive effects of massage therapy for relaxation. In a study on the effect of trigger point therapy1, there was a significant decrease in heart rate, systolic blood pressure8, and diastolic blood pressure8. Measures of oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and salivary cortisol levels were all lower after a 10 to 15 minute chair massage in controlled studies.2, 3, 4 Changes in psychological states have been measured by physiological responses1, 3, the Perceived Stress Scale5,6, the POMS Depression Scale4,5, and the Anxiety State Scale.4
Research continues to document the impact for relief of anxiety and depression for people in a wide range of health situations.8, 9, 10, 11 For example, one randomized study found women with stage 1 and stage 2 breast cancer benefited from regular massage therapy sessions. The immediate massage benefits included reduced anxiety, depressed mood and anger, while the long-term impact reduced depression and increased serotonin values. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter with functions in various parts of the body, works to regulate mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning.
From the muscle strain and soreness when you overdo it to serious or chronic pain, massage therapy is showing positive results. Consumers are learning its value, as 41% of American adults who had a massage in the past 5 years indicate they sought it for pain relief.12
A meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain conducted by Samueli Institute in 2016 concluded that massage therapy should be strongly recommended for pain management. The analysis reviewed 67 published studies on the impact of massage therapy on pain.13
Find a Massage Therapist Near You
A qualified massage therapist can play an important role in the health care team for those looking to improve their self-care. Individuals should consult with a qualified, professional massage therapist to determine the best massage therapy approach for their specific needs. By meeting or exceeding state training requirements, ascribing to a code of ethics and participating in continuing education, American Massage Therapy Association massage therapists are appropriate additions to any wellness regimen and create specialized approaches based on individual conditions, fitness and goals.
To find a massage therapist near you, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) offers a free professional massage therapist locator service at www.findamassagetherapist.org.
About The American Massage Therapy Association
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the most trusted name in massage therapy, is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage. www.amtamassage.org
Delaney, J.P., Leong, K.S., Watkins, A., & Brodie, D. (2002). The short-term effects of myofascial trigger point massage therapy on cardiac autonomic tone in healthy subjects. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37, 364-71.
Boone, T., Tanner, M., & Radosevich, A. (2001). Effects of a 10-minute back rub on cardiovascular responses in healthy subjects. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 29, 47-52.
Cady, S. H., & Jones, G. E. (1997). Massage therapy as a workplace intervention for reduction of stress. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 84, 157-158.
Field, T., Ironson, G., Scafidi, F., Nawrocki, T., Goncalves, A., Burman, I., Pickens, J., Fox, N., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (1996). Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 86, 197-205.
Brennan, M.K. & DeBate, R. (2004).The effect of chair massage on stress perception of hospital bedside nurses. Massage Therapy Journal 43, (1), 76-86.
Field, T., Quintino, O., Henteleff, T., Wells-Keife, L., & Delvecchio-Feinberg, G. (1997). Job stress reduction therapies. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3, (4), 54-56.
MacDonald, G. (1998). Massage offers respite for primary care givers. The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, Jan/Feb, 43-47.
Jane, S.W., Wilkie, D.J., Gallucci, B.B., Beaton, R.D., Huang, H.Y. (2009). Effects of a Full-Body Massage on Pain Intensity, Anxiety, and Physiological Relaxation in Taiwanese Patients with Metastatic Bone Pain: A Pilot Study. J Pain Symptom Manage. 37(4):754-63.
Imanishi, J., Kuriyama, H., Shigemori, I., Watanabe, S., Aihara, Y., Kita, M., Sawai, K., Nakajima, H., Yoshida, N., Kunisawa, M., Kawase, M., Fukui, K. (2007). Anxiolytic Effect of Aromatherapy Massage in Patients with Breast Cancer. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
Smith, M., Reeder, F., Daniel, L., Baramee, J., Hagman, J. (2003). Outcomes of touch therapies during bone marrow transplant. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 9(1) 40-49.
Hughes, D., Ladas, E., Rooney, D., Kelly, K. (2008). Massage therapy as a supportive care intervention for children with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum, 35(3):431-42.
American Massage Therapy Association annual consumer survey conducted by ORC International, July 2017.
Crawford C, Boyd C, Paat C, et al. The Impact of Massage Therapy on Function in Pain Populations – A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials: Part I, Patients Experiencing Pain in the General Population. Pain Medicine, first published online: 10 May 2016.