A true healing art validated by science
Massage has been around for thousands of years and it's impossible to fully appreciate the full value of massage and effects that touch has on each and every one of us.
Today massage is used to treat almost every condition with good results and the more wholesome the treatment, the better the results.
We know the value of massage for treating sports injuries, every major team has one or more massage therapists on staff. Massage is one of the best treatments for occupational overuse, postural restoration, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, muscular/skeletal disorders as well as treating mental and emotional problems.
From medical research
Below is a list of some of the research about massage and additional comments about the conclusions from the Touch Research Institute in Miami.
Massage for Breast Cancer
Massage therapy reduced anxiety and depression and improved immune function including increased natural killer cell numbers.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Ironsor, G., Field, T., Hurley, J., Katz, G., Diego, M., Weiss, S., Fletcher, MA., Shanberg, S and Kuhn, C. (2003) Breast cancer patients have improve immune and neuroendocrine function following massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57,45-52.
Adults exposed to rosemary showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting increased alertness. They also had lower anxiety levels and performed math computations faster. Adults exposed to lavender showed increased beta power, suggesting increased relaxation. They performed math computations not only faster but also with fewer errors and had less depressed mood.
Diego, M.A., Jones, N.A., Field, T., & Hernandez-Reif, M. (1998). Aromatherapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG patterns associated with positive mood and alertness. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 217-224.
Massage for Anorexia
Massage therapy reduced anxiety, depressed mood and salivary cortisol (stress hormone) levels and body dissatisfaction and increased dopamine levels.
Hart, S., Field, T. Hernandez-Reif, M., Nearing, G., Shaw, S.Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (2001). Anorexia symptoms are reduced by massage therapy. Eating Disorders, 9, 289-299.
Massage for Adolescents
Adolescents with ADHD rated themselves as happier and were observed to fidget less after massage sessions. Also, teachers rated adolescents receiving massage as less hyperactive and as spending more time on-task. Children with ADHD showed more on-task behavior in the classroom and were rated as less hyperactive by their teachers following one month of twice weekly massages.
Field, T., Quintino, O. & Hernandez-Reif, M., & Koslovsky, G. (1998). Adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder benefit from massage therapy. Adolescence, 33, 103-108.
Khilnani, S., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., and Shanberg, S. (2004). Massage therapy improves mood and behavior of students with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, Adolescence, 152, 623-638.
Massage for Back Pain
Massage lessened lower back pain, depression and anxiety, and improved sleep. The massage therapy group also showed improved range of motion and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Theakston, T. (2001) Low back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 106, 131-145.