Massage Therapy News and Research


Massage Magazine reports that a new research study found that aromatherapy massage positively affected the sleep quality of hospital patients who had recently undergone surgery. Post-surgical insomnia is a problem of patients recovering from surgical procedures experience.

Authors of the research found that “aromatherapy massage enhanced the sleep quality of patients in a surgical intensive care unit and resulted in some positive changes in their physiological procedures.”

Researchers found that one day after general surgery, patients in a postoperative intensive care unit who received a full body massage experienced a significant improvement in sleep quality as well as diastolic blood pressure. In the aromatherapy massage group, 80 percent of the participants reported daytime sleepiness after the intervention. In the control group, 63 percent reported daytime sleepiness.

The research was conducted at the Department of Surgical Nursing, Atatürk University, and Surgical Nursing, Department of Surgery, Atatürk University Research Hospital. The institutions are both in Erzurum, Turkey. Read more.

Opioids wrong way to treat back pain

Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability globally. The most common treatments for it, pain medication, expensive therapies, surgery, and injections, are “useless, unnecessary and harmful,” according to recent research. Instead, physical treatment and exercise are recommended. The research was documented in three papers written by an international group of researchers from Australia, the UK, the US, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Brazil, South Africa, and Germany.

Currently, over 540 million people are affected by activity-limiting low back pain at any one time. The low back burden is expected to continue to increase with an aging and increasingly obsess population.

Two of the three papers outline the breadth and impact of low back pain globally, how medical care is making the problem worse in developed and developing countries, and promising solutions that need testing. The final paper in the series is a Worldwide Urgent Global Call to Action, which includes:

  • Coordinated inter/national leadership to drive transformational change across health and social services and occupational settings to stop fragmented and outdated models of care
  • Development of evidence-based medical responses to low back pain, emphasizing the concept of ‘positive health’ – the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges
  • Avoidance of what the authors call harmful and useless medical treatments by adopting a similar framework to drug regulation.
  • Public health campaigns to address the widespread population and health professional misconceptions about the causes and prognosis of low back pain and the effectiveness of different treatments.

Read more

Massage Therapy for Horses in Nebraska

A bill is under consideration in the Nebraska state legislature that would make it possible for more people to practice Equine Massage Therapy. Nebraska law makes it difficult for someone to provide massage therapy on horses without first being licensed to perform massage therapy on humans. The sponsored by State Senator Mike Groene aims to allow more people to practice the therapy.

If the bill passes, practitioners who are currently certified in Equine Massage Therapy will practice. Others who already practice it under their current license would have until 2022 to get their certification. Read more.

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