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Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

Reduce Stress, Stay Healthy with Massage Therapy

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Did you know that Massage Therapy and Heart Health are closely related?

Most people know that the month of February is symbolic of many things – Valentine’s day, Black History Month, but it’s also American Heart Health which means it’s a time to learn about risks for heart disease and how to “stay healthy” for yourself and the people you care about. This is where the practice of massage therapy can definitely help!

The folks at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have repeatedly said that heart disease and other cardiovascular ailments is the number one killer of men and women in this country. It’s very costly when it comes to health care services including prescription medications. You may ask “What can I do differently today to improve my overall health?”

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Massage Therapy

Multiple 60-minute massage sessions effective for neck pain

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Multiple 60-minute massage sessions effective for neck pain

(HealthDay)—Multiple 60-minute massage sessions are effective for neck dysfunction and pain among patients with chronic neck pain, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Karen J. Sherman, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, and colleagues examined the optimal dose of massage for individuals with chronic nonspecific . A cohort of 228 individuals with chronic nonspecific neck pain were recruited and randomized to five groups receiving a four-week course of 30-minute visits two or three times weekly or 60-minute visits once, twice, or three times weekly, or to a single waitlist control group.

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Massage Therapy

Massage eases low back pain in randomized controlled trial

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Massage therapy helps ease chronic low back pain and improve function, according to a randomized controlled trial that the Annals of Internal Medicine will publish in its July 5 issue. The first study to compare structural and relaxation (Swedish) massage, the trial found that both types of massage worked well, with few side effects.

“We found that massage helps people with back pain to function even after six months,” said trial leader Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. Better function means they are more able to work, take care of themselves, and be active.

“This is important because is among the most common reasons people see  and alternative practitioners, including massage therapists,” Dr. Cherkin added. “It’s also a common cause of disability, absenteeism, and ‘presenteeism,’ when people are at work but can’t perform well.”

The trial enrolled 400 Group Health Cooperative patients who had had for at least three months. Their pain was “nonspecific,” meaning with no identified cause. They were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: structural massage, relaxation massage, or usual care. Usual care was what they would have received anyway, most often medications. The hour-long massage treatments were given weekly for 10 weeks.

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Massage Therapy

Study shows massage reduces inflammation following strenuous exercise

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Most athletes can testify to the pain-relieving, recovery-promoting effects of massage. Now there’s a scientific basis that supports booking a session with a massage therapist: On the cellular level massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle. The research, involving scientists from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario appears in the February 1st online edition of Science Translational Medicine.

The study involved the genetic analysis of taken from the quadriceps of eleven young males after they had exercised to exhaustion on a stationary bicycle. One of their legs was randomly chosen to be massaged. Biopsies were taken from both legs prior to the exercise, immediately after 10 minutes of  treatment and after a 2.5 hour period of recovery.

Buck Institute faculty Simon Melov, PhD, was responsible for the genetic analysis of the tissue samples. “Our research showed that massage dampened the expression of in the  and promoted biogenesis of mitochondria, which are the energy-producing units in the cells,” said Melov. He added that the pain reduction associated with massage may involve the same mechanism as those targeted by conventional anti-inflammatory drugs. “There’s general agreement that massage feels good, now we have a scientific basis for the experience,” said Melov.

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Massage Therapy

Study shows frequent massage sessions boost biological benefits

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Massage is purported to have an array of benefits, including alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, back pain, asthma, fatigue, and even HIV. A new study shows there are sustained, cumulative beneficial effects of repeated massage therapy. The effects persist for several days to a week, and differ depending on the frequency of sessions. Results of the study were reported on line in theJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Study researchers, led by Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD, examined the  of repeated Swedish  and light touch intervention. In a prior study, the researchers found that healthy people who undergo a single session of Swedish Massage experience measureable changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.

“We expanded the study to show the effects of repeated massage because we believed the frequency of massage, or the interval between massages, may have different biological and psychological effects than a single session,” explains Rapaport, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine.

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Massage Therapy

Ancient foot massage technique may ease cancer symptoms

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Ancient foot massage technique may ease cancer symptoms

Reflexology involves stimulating specific points on the feet to improve functioning in other parts of the body.

(Medical Xpress)—A study led by a Michigan State University researcher offers the strongest evidence yet that reflexology – a type of specialized foot massage practiced since the age of pharaohs – can help cancer patients manage their symptoms and perform daily tasks.

Funded by the  and published in the latest issue of Oncology Nursing Forum, it is the first large-scale, randomized study of reflexology as a complement to standard , according to lead author Gwen Wyatt, a professor in the College of Nursing.

“It’s always been assumed that it’s a nice comfort measure, but to this point we really have not, in a rigorous way, documented the benefits,” Wyatt said. “This is the first step toward moving a complementary therapy from fringe care to mainstream care.”

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Massage Therapy

Massage enhances fat reduction with cryolipolysis

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Massage enhances fat reduction with cryolipolysis

Post-treatment manual massage improves the efficacy of cryolipolysis on fat reduction, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

(HealthDay)—Post-treatment manual massage improves the efficacy of cryolipolysis on fat reduction, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Gerald E. Boey, M.D., and Jennifer L. Wasilenchuk, from Arbutus Laser Centre in Vancouver, Canada, treated an efficacy group (10 patients) and a safety group (seven patients) on each side of the lower abdomen with a Cooling Intensity Factor of 42 (−72.9 mW/cm²) for 60 minutes. Immediately after treatment, one side of the abdomen was massaged, while the other side served as the control. Photos and ultrasound measurements were taken at baseline and at two and four months post-treatment in the efficacy group. To examine the effects of massage on subcutaneous tissue over time, histological analysis was completed through 120 days post-treatment in the safety group.

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Massage Therapy

Massage therapy improves circulation, eases muscle soreness

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Massage therapy improves general blood flow and alleviates muscle soreness after exercise, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The study, reported online in advance of print in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, also showed that improved  in people who had not exercised, suggesting that massage has benefits for people regardless of their level of physical activity.

Improved circulation and relief of  are common claims made for massage’s benefits, but no studies have substantiated such claims, even though is increasingly used as an adjunct to traditional medical interventions, said Shane Phillips, UIC associate professor of physical therapy and principal investigator on the study.

“Our study validates the value of massage in exercise and injury, which has been previously recognized but based on minimal data,” said Nina Cherie Franklin, UIC postdoctoral fellow in physical therapy and first author of the study. “It also suggests the value of massage outside of the context of exercise.”

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Massage Therapy

Study underscores benefits of clinical massage therapy for chronic lower back pain

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by Elizabeth Adams

K study underscores benefits of clinical massage therapy for chronic lower back pain

Clinical massage therapy has alleviated chronic lower back pain (CLBP) in patients who participated in a recent University of Kentucky study of complementary therapies.

Researchers in the University of Kentucky Department of Family and Community Medicine recently completed a study pointing to real-world evidence that clinical  helps reduce symptoms in CLBP. The department partnered with 67 primary care providers (PCPs) and 26 massage therapists in urban and rural Central Kentucky to study provider decision-making for complementary treatments and short-term effects of clinical massage and progressive muscle relaxation therapies for CLBP patients.

Through the study, PCPs in five counties referred CLBP patients with point of service cards to community practicing, licensed massage therapists for clinical massage therapy or to a course of patient-administered progressive muscle relaxation therapy. All study therapies were provided to patients free-of-charge. Of the 100 participants in the study, 85 received clinical massage therapy, and 54 percent of those patients reported a clinically meaningful decrease of pain and overall disability.

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Massage Therapy

Massage Therapist as Pain pilot explores hand shiatsu treatment as sleep aid

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Pain pilot explores hand shiatsu treatment as sleep aid

University of Alberta researcher Cary Brown (left) teaches Nancy Cheyne how to self administer shiatsu massage treatments on her hand. Credit: Bryan Alary/University of Alberta

(Edmonton) There was a time, back in Nancy Cheyne’s youth, when she combined the poise and grace of a ballerina with the daring and grit of a barrel racer. When she wasn’t pursuing either of those pastimes, she bred sheepdogs, often spending hours on her feet grooming her furry friends at dog shows.

All that seems like a lifetime ago. After 15 years of living with chronic lower-back pain, Cheyne, 64, can’t walk from the disabled parking stall to the elevator at work without stopping for a rest. She eats mostly junk food because it hurts too much to stand over the stove and spends most of her spare time in a recliner with a heating pad.

Despite pain patches and opiates, Cheyne often lies awake at night in the same recliner—sleeping in a bed is like torture—after waking every couple of hours in excruciating pain.

“Pain affects everything I do,” says Cheyne. “The chronic ongoing lower-back pain, it’s all the time.”

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