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Abstracts Related to Various Effects of Massage

Field, T. (2002).

Massage therapy.

Medical Clinics of North America, 86, 163-171.

REVIEW: The author and other investigators have documented improvement in several medical and psychiatric conditions after massage therapy, including growth in preterm infants, depression and addictive problems, pain syndromes, and immune and autoimmune conditions. Although some potential underlying mechanisms have been explored for the massage therapy-improved clinical condition relationship, including decreased stress (and decreased cortisol), improved sleep patterns, and enhanced immune function, further research is needed in this area.

Field, T. (1998).

Massage therapy effects.

American Psychological Association, 53, 1270-1281.

REVIEW: Massage therapy is older than recorded time, and rubbing was the primary form of medicine until the pharmaceutical revolution of the 1940's. Popularized again as part of the alternative medicine movement, massage therapy has recently received empirical support for facilitating growth, reducing pain, increasing alertness, diminishing depression, and enhancing immune function. In this article studies are reviewed that document these effects, and models are proposed for potential underlying mechanisms.

Cherkin, D.C., Eisenberg, D., Sherman, K.J., Barlow, W.,,Kaptchuk, T.J., Street, J. & Deyo, R.A. (2001).

Randomized trial comparing traditional Chinese medical acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and self-care education for chronic low back pain.

Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 1081-8.

METHODS: 262 patients who had persistent back pain received Traditional Chinese Medical acupuncture, therapeutic massage, or self-care educational materials for up to 10 massage or acupuncture visits over 10 weeks.

RESULTS: At 10 weeks, massage was superior to self-care on the symptom scale and the disability scale. Massage was also superior to acupuncture on the disability scale. The massage group used the least medications and had the lowest costs of subsequent care.

Preyde, M. (2000).

Effectiveness of massage therapy for subacute low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial.

CMAJ, 162, 1815-20.

METHOD: This randomized controlled trial compared comprehensive massage therapy (soft-tissue manipulation, remedial exercise and posture education), 2 components of massage therapy and placebo in the treatment of subacute (between 1 week and 8 months) low-back pain. Subjects with subacute low-back pain were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: comprehensive massage therapy, soft-tissue manipulation only, remedial exercise with posture education only or a placebo of sham laser therapy. Each subject received 6 treatments within approximately 1 month. Outcome measures obtained at baseline, after treatment and at 1-month follow-up consisted of the Roland Disability Questionnaire (RDQ), the McGill Pain Questionnaire (PPI and PRI), the State Anxiety Index and the Modified Schober test (lumbar range of motion).

RESULTS: The comprehensive massage therapy group had improved function, less intense pain and a decrease in the quality of pain compared with the other 3 groups. At 1-month follow-up 63% of subjects in the comprehensive massage therapy group reported no pain as compared with 27% of the soft-tissue manipulation group, 14% of the remedial exercise group and 0% of the sham laser therapy group.

Goats GC & Keir KA

Connective tissue massage

Br J Sports Med 1991 Sep; 25(3):131-3

Connective tissue massage (CTM) is a manipulative technique that facilitates the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of pathologies. Observation and subsequent manipulation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues can have a beneficial effect upon tissues remote from the area of treatment. These effects appear to be mediated by neural reflexes that cause an increase in blood flow to the affected region together with suppression of pain.





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