Breakthroughs in massage therapy research

Swedish massage may ease fatigue in cancer patients

Swedish massage therapy (SMT) may be effective in providing significant relief from cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in breast cancer survivors, according to a study published online in Cancer. The study conducted at Emory University in Atlanta involved 66 female stage 0-III breast cancer survivors who had received surgery plus radiation and/or chemotherapy/chemoprevention with CRF.  Researchers compared evaluated the efficacy of weekly SMT compared with an active control condition (light touch) and waitlist control (WLC) in an early-phase, randomized, single-masked, six-week study. The results of the study indicated that six weeks of a safe, widely accepted manual intervention causes a significant reduction in fatigue, which a debilitating sequela for cancer survivors. Read more


Compression of Myofascial Trigger Points Alters Brain and Nervous System Activity

Women with chronic neck pain experienced a significant decrease in subjective pain following four 30-second compressions of myofascial trigger points in their trapezius muscles, according to a recent study, reports Massage Magazine. The “Compression at myofascial trigger point on chronic neck pain provides pain relief through the prefrontal cortex and autonomic nervous system: a pilot study,” involved 21 women who had been experiencing chronic neck pain for three or more months.

The research found that applying pressure to these trigger points resulted in a significant increase in parasympathetic nervous system activity, a significant decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity and a corresponding significant decrease in prefrontal cortex hemodynamic activity. Read more


Benefits of massage for military veterans

AMTA reports that research published in Military Medicine indicates that military veterans showed less anxiety, worry, depression and physical pain after massage therapy. Research also suggests tension and irritability declined following massage.  Other studies indicate massage therapy may be effective for those clients who experience dissociation as a symptom of PTSD, allowing these clients to experience a more coherent sense of self.  Read more

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