Massage Therapy Research

The research projects identified in this section, although not exhaustive, demonstrate the extensive nature of the evidence that massage therapy is of therapeutic benefit in treating a wide range of conditions. The research projects are sub-categorized to aid the reader in finding relevant topics of interest.

Cancer Related

Rexilius, S.J., Mundt, C., Erickson Megel, M., & Agrawal, S. (2002). Therapeutic effects of massage therapy and handling touch on caregivers of patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Oncology Nursing Forum, 29, E35-44.

 

Massage Therapy in Treating the Symptoms of Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Cancer
Sponsor: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre

 

Massage Therapy in Treating Patients With Cancer Pain
Sponsor: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Barrie R. Cassileth, PhD

 

Breast Cancer

The Clinical and Biochemical Effect of Therapeutic Massage on Fatigue and Insomnia in Women With Breast Cancer Receiving Radiation Therapy (RTTM301)
Sponsor: Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services
Principal Investigator: Judith G. Myers, PhD

 

Does Scar Massage Improve Postoperative Pain and Function in Women With Breast Cancer?
Sponsor: University of British Columbia
Principal Investigator: Pauline Truong, MD

 

Leukemia

Twenty children with leukemia were provided with daily massages by their parents and were compared to a standard treatment control group. Following a month of massage therapy, depressed mood decreased in the children's parents, and the children's white blood cell and neutrophil counts increased.
Field, T., Cullen, C., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Sprinz, P., Beebe, K., Kissell, B., & Bango-Sanchez, V. (2001). Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy, 5, 271- 274.

 

Cardiovascular and Blood Disorders

Blood Pressure

Kurosawa, M., Lundeberg, T., Agren, G., Lund, I., & Uvnas-Moberg, K. (1995). Massage-like stroking of the abdomen lowers blood pressure in anesthetized rats: influence of oxytocin. Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System, 56, 26-30

Cardiovascular

Lewis, P., Nichols, E., Mackey, G., Fadol, A., Sloane, L., Villagomez, E., & Liehr, P. (1997). The effect of turning and backrub on mixed venous oxygen saturation in critically ill patients. American Journal of Critical Care, 6, 132-140.

Diabetes

Following one month of parents massaging their children with diabetes, the children's glucose levels decreased to the normal range and their increased dietary compliance increased. Also the parents' and children's anxiety and depression levels decreased.Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., LaGreca A., Shaw, K., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (1997). Massage therapy lowers blood glucose levels in children with Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Spectrum 10, 237-239.

Hypertension

Massage therapy decreased diastolic blood pressure, anxiety and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Theakston, H., Hossain, Z., & Burman, I. (2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31-38.

Leukemia

Field, T., Cullen, C., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Sprinz, P., Beebe, K., Kissel, B., & Bango-Sanchez, V. (2001). Leukemia immune changes following massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 5, 271-274.

Children's Health

Behavior Problem Children

Preschool children with behavior problems who received massage are showed more on-task behavior, less solitary play, and less aggression.
Escalona, A., Field, T., Cullen, C., Hartshorn, K., & Cruz, C. (In Review). Behavior problem preschool children benefit from massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care.

Down Syndrome

Infants with Down syndrome improved in muscle tone and in performance on motor tasks following massage therapy.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Ironson, G., Field, T., Largie, S., Deigo, M., Mora, D., & Bornstein, J. (In Review). Children with Down Syndrome improved in motor function and muscle tone following massage therapy. Journal of Early Intervention.

Father-Infant Massage

Fathers gave their infants daily massages 15 minutes prior to bedtime for one month. The fathers in the massage group showed more optimal interaction behavior with their infants.
Cullen, C., Field, T., Escalona, A., & Hartshorn, K. (2000). Father-infants interactions are enhanced by massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 164, 41-47.

Infants of Depressed Mothers

Infants who received massage therapy versus those who were rocked experienced 1) greater daily weight gain; 2) more organized sleep/wake behaviors; 3) less fussiness; 4) improved sociability and soothability, 5) improved interaction behaviors; and 6) lower cortisol and norepinephrine and increased serotonin levels (suggesting less depression).
Field, T., Grizzle, N., Scafidi, F., Abrams, S., & Richardson, S. (1996). Massage therapy for infants of depressed mothers. Infant Behavior and Development, 19, 109-114.

 

Infants of intrusive mothers with depressive symptoms showed more differential responding to the facial expressions than the infants of withdrawn mothers.
Diego, M., Field, T., Hart, S., Hernandez-Reif, M., Jones, N., Cullen, C., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C., (2002). Facial expressions and EEG in infants of intrusive and withdrawn mothers with depressive symptoms. Depression and Anxiety, 15, 10-17.

Interventions for Premature Infants

Early touch interventions and their effects on high-risk infants are reviewed.
Field, T. (1986). Interventions for premature infants. Journal of Pediatrics, 109, 183- 191.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Positive effects of parents massaging their arthritic children included less pain (particularly at night) and less morning stiffness as assessed by the Parent, Child and Physician's Assessment as well as lower anxiety and cortisol levels.
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Seligman, S., Krasnegor, J., Sunshine, W., Rivas- Chacon, R., & Schanberg, S. (1997). Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis benefits from massage therapy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 22, 607-617.

Learning by Infants

Massaging the lower limbs for a few minutes enhanced habituation (or simple learning) by infants.
Cigales, M., Field, T., Lundy, B., Cuadra, A. & Hart, S. (1997). Massage enhances recovery from habituation in normal infants. Infant Behavior & Development, 20, 29- 34.

Learning in Preschoolers

Preschoolers who received a 15-minute massage showed better performance on the block design and greater accuracy on the animal pegs subsets of the WPPSI.
Hart, S., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., & Lundy, B. (1998). Preschoolers' cognitive performance improves following massage. Early Child Development & Care, 143, 59- 64.

Preterm Infant Massage in Five Days

Preterm infants gained more weight following as few as 5 days of massage therapy.
Dieter, J., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M. & Emory, E. (In Review). Preterm infants gain more weight following 5 days of massage therapy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Preterm Neonates' Responses to massage and Heelsticks

Routine heelstick procedures and tactile-kinesthetic massage were performed on stabilized preterm neonates to examine the differential effects on Transcutaneous Oxygen Tension (TcPO2). TcPO2 levels during the heelstick were significantly lower than during the massage stimulation. The findings indicate that social forms of touch such as massage do not appear to have a medically compromising effect on TcPO2.
Morrow, C., Field, T., Scafidi, F.A., Roberts, J., Eisen, L., Larson, S.K., Hogan, A.E., & Bandstra, E.S. (1991). Differential effects of massage and heelstick procedures on Transcutaneous Oxygen Tension in preterm neonates. Infant Behavior and Development, 14, 397-414.

Preterm Newborns Gain More Weight

Preterm infants gained 47% more weight, became more socially responsive, and were discharged 6 days earlier at a hospital cost savings of $10,000 per infant (or 4.7 billion dollars if the 470,000 preemies born each year were massaged). The underlying biological mechanism for weight gain in the massaged preterm newborns may be an increase in vagal tone and, in turn, an increase in insulin (food absorption hormone).
Field, T., Schanberg, S. M., Scafidi, F., Bauer, C. R., Vega-Lahr, N., Garcia, R., Nystrom, J., & Kuhn, C. M. (1986). Tactile/ kinesthetic stimulation effects on preterm neonates. Pediatrics, 77, 654-658.

Preterm Newborns Sleep Better

Preterm infants who were massaged before sleep fell asleep more quickly and slept more soundly with better sleep patterns. They showed improved weight gain as compared to infants who were not massaged before sleep.
Scafidi, F., Field, T., Schanberg, S., Bauer, C., Vega-Lahr, N., & Garcia, R. (1986). Effects of tactile/kinesthetic stimulation on the clinical course and sleep/wake behavior of preterm neonates. Infant Behavior and Development, 9, 91-105.

Preterm Newborns Have a Better Clinical Course

Preterm Infants received tactile/kinesthetic stimulation over a 10-day period. The infants averaged 21% greater weight gain per day and spent more time awake and active during sleep/wake behavior observations.
Scafidi, F., Field, T., Schanberg, S., Bauer, C, Tucci, K., Roberts, J., Morrow, C., & Kuhn, C.M. (1990). Massage stimulates growth in preterm infants: A replication. Infant Behavior and Development ,13,167-188

Preterm Infants Who Benefit the Most From Massage

Preterm infants received three daily 15-minute massages for 10 days. The massage therapy infants gained significantly more weight per day than did the control infants. For the massage therapy group, the pattern of greater caloric intake and more days in Intermediate care before the study period along with more obstetric complications differentiated the high from the low weight gainers, suggesting that the infants who had experienced more complications before the study benefited more from the massage therapy.
Scafidi, F., Field, T., & Schanberg, S. (1993). Factors that predict which preterm infants benefit most from massage therapy. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 14, 176-180.

Preterm Infants Develop Better

Preterm infants who received massage therapy as newborns showed greater weight gain and more optimal cognitive and motor development eight months later.
Field, T., Scafidi, & Schanberg, S. (1987). Massage of preterm newborns to improve growth and development. Pediatric Nursing, 13, 385-387.

Preterm Infants' Weight Influences Massage Therapy Benefits

In a review of preterm infant massage studies, massage therapy was found to facilitate weight gain only when the intervention was started when the preterm infant weighed between 1100 and 1300 g.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Diego, M., & Beutler, J. (2001). Letter-to-the-Editor: Evidence-Based Medicine and Massage. Pediatrics, 108 (4), 1053.

Psychiatric Patients (Child and Adolescent)

Following five 30-minute massages these children/ adolescents had better sleep patterns, lower depression and anxiety and lower stress hormone levels (cortisol and norepinephrine).
Field, T., Morrow, C., Valdeon, C., Larson, S., Kuhn, C., & Schanberg, S. (1992). Massage therapy reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 125-130.

Neuroendocrine Activity

Maternally deprived rat pups showed increased growth hormone following simulated rubbing.
Pauk, J., Kuhn, C., Field, T., & Schanberg, S. (1986). Positive effects of tactile versus kinesthetic or vestibular stimulation on neuroendocrine and ODC activity in maternally deprived rat pups. Life Science, 39, 2081-2087.

Review Paper

Massage Therapy for Infants and Children: The effects of massage therapy on infants and children with various medical conditions are reviewed. The conditions range from infants who are premature, cocaine-exposed, HIV-exposed and infants of depressed mothers. The childhood conditions include asthma, burns, cancer, dermatitis, diabetes, eating disorders (bulimia), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, posttraumatic stress disorder, and psychiatric disorders.
Field, T. (1995). Massage therapy for infants and children. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 16, 105-111.

 

Massage Therapy Effects on Infants and Children: Infant and child massage therapy studies ranging across several conditions are reviewed along with recommendations to pediatricians and parents.
Field, T. (1999). Massage therapy: More than a laying on of hands: Contemporary Pediatrics, 16, 77-94.

 

Massage Therapy Effects: Infant, child and adult massage therapy studies ranging across many conditions including attention disorders, depression, addictions, pain syndrome, immune and autoimmune disorders are reviewed along with potential underlying mechanisms.
Field, T. (1998). Massage therapy effects. American Psychologist, 53, 1270-1281.

 

Massage Therapy: Research on massage therapy and its effects on various conditions including depression, anorexia nervosa, smoking, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, immune disorders, and diabetes.
Field, T. (2002). Massage therapy. Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 86, 163-171.

 

Dental

Dental Pain

Ottoson, D., Ekblom, A., & Hansson, P. (1981). Vibratory stimulation for the relief of pain of dental origin. Pain ,10, 37-45.

TMJ

Adiels AM, Helkimo M, Magnusson T. (2005). Tactile stimulation as a complementary treatment of temporomandibular disorders in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. A pilot study. Swed Dent J.29(1):17-25.

Immune System

Breast Cancer

Massage therapy reduced anxiety and depression and improved immune function including increased natural killer cell number.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Ironson, G., Field, T., et al, (In Review)

 

Breast cancer patients have improved immune functions following massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Ironson, G., Beutler, J., Vera, Y., Hurley, J., Fletcher, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., & Fraser, M. (2005). Natural killer cells and lymphocytes increase in women with breast cancer following massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 115, 495-510

HIV in Adolescents

Natural killer cells, CD4 cells and CD4/CD8 ratio increased after one month of massage therapy.
Deigo, M.A., Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Friedman, L., & Shaw, K. (2001). Massage therapy effects on immune function in adolescents with HIV. International Journal of Neuroscience, 106, 35-45.

HIV Positive Adults

This study examined massage therapy effects on anxiety and depression levels and on immune function. The subjects received a 45-minute massage five times weekly for a 1-month period. The findings were that: 1) anxiety, stress and cortisol levels were significantly reduced; and 2) natural killer cells and natural killer cell activity increased, suggesting positive effects on the immune system.
Ironson, G., Field, T., Scafidi, F., Hashimoto, M., Kumar, M., Kumar, A., Price, A., Goncalves, A., Burman, I., Tetenman, C., Patarca, R., & Fletcher, M. A. (1996).Massage therapy is associated with enhancement of the immune system's cytotoxic capacity. International Journal of Neuroscience 84, 205-218.

 

Inflammatory Conditions

Arthritis

Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Seligman, S., Krasnegor, J. & Sunshine, W. (1997). Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: Benefits from massage therapy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 22, 607-617.

Asthma

Field, T., Henteleff, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Martinez, E., Mavunda, K., Kuhn, C. & Schanberg, S. (1998). Children with asthma have improved pulmonary functions after massage therapy. Journal of Pediatrics, 132, 854-858.

Dermatitis in Children

Children's affect and activity levels improved as did all measures of skin condition including less redness, lichenification, excoriation, and pruritis after massage therapy. Parents' anxiety levels also decreased.
Schachner, L., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Duarte, A., & Krasnegor, J. (1998). Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms Decrease in Children Following Massage Therapy. Pediatric Dermatology, 15, 390-395.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Immediately following massage therapy depressed mood, anxiety and stress hormone (cortisol) levels were reduced. Following 10 days of massage therapy, fatigue related symptoms, particularly anxiety and somatic symptoms, were reduced, as were depression, difficulty sleeping and pain. Stress hormone (cortisol) also decreased and dopamine increased.
Field, T, Sunshine, W., Hernandez-Reif, M., Quintino, O., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., & Burman, I. (1997). Chronic fatigue syndrome: Massage therapy effects on depression and somatic symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 3, 43-51.

Cystic Fibrosis

Children receiving daily bedtime massages from their parents reported being less anxious, and their mood and peak air flow readings improved.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., & Martinez, E. (1999). Cystic fibrosis symptoms are reduced with massage therapy intervention. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 24, 183-189.

Dermatitis

Anderson, C., Lis-Balchin, M., & Kirk-Smith, M. (2000). Evaluation of massage with essential oils on childhood atopic eczema. Phytotherapy Research, 14, 452-6.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Massage therapy (as compared to transcutaneous electrical stimulation) improved sleep patterns and decreased pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and cortisol levels.
Sunshine, W., Field, T., Schanberg, S., Quintino, O., Fierro, K., Kuhn, C., Burman, I., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 2, 18-22.

 

Fibromyalgia patients slept better (showed lower activity levels suggesting more deep sleep), and had lower substance P levels and less pain following a month of biweekly massages.
Field, T., Diego, M., Cullen, C., Hernandez-Reif, M., Sunshine, W., & Douglas, S. (2002). Fibromyalgia pain and substance P decrease and sleep improves after massage therapy. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 8, 72-76.

 

Mental Health

Aggression

Diego, M.A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Shaw, J.A., Rothe, E.M., Castellanos, D. & Mesner, L. (2002). Aggressive adolescents benefit from massage therapy. Adolescence, 37, 597-607.

Alzheimer's

Rowe, M. & Alfred, D. (1999). The effectiveness of slow-stroke massage in diffusing agitated behaviors in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Gerontology and Nursing, 25, 22-34.

Anorexia

Massage therapy reduced anxiety, depressed mood and salivary cortisol (stress hormone) levels and resulted in decreased body dissatisfaction associated with anorexia.
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.

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Khilnani, S., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., & Schanberg, S. (2003). Massage therapy improves mood and behavior of students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Adolescence, 38, 623-38.

Autism

Escalona, A., Field, T., Singer-Strunk, R., Cullen, C., & Hartshorn, K. (2001). Improvements in the behavior of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 513-516.

Behavior Problems

Escalona, A., Field, T., Cullen, C., Hartshorn, K., & Cruz, C. (2001). Behavior problem preschool children benefit from massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care 161, 1-5.

Bulimia

Bulimic adolescent girls received massage therapy 2 times a week for 5 weeks. Effects included an improved body image, decreased depression and anxiety symptoms, decreased cortisol levels and increased dopamine and serotonin levels.
Field, T., Shanberg, S., Kuhn, C., Fierro, K., Henteleff, T., Mueller, C., Yando, R. & Burman, I. (1997). Bulimic adolescents benefit from massage therapy. Adolescence, 131, 555-563.

Field, T., Morrow, C., Valdeon, C., Larson, S., Kuhn, C. & Schanberg, S. (1992). Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent phychiatric patients. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 125-131.

Shulman, K.R. & Jones, G.E. (1996). The effectiveness of massage therapy intervention on reducing anxiety in the work place. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 32, 160- 173.

Cocaine Exposure

Wheeden, A., Scafidi, F.A., Field, T., Ironson, G., Valdeon, C. & Bandstra, E. (1993). Massage effects on cocaine-exposed preterm neonates. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 14, 318-322.

Cognition (Learning)

Cigales, M., Field, T., Lundy, B., Cuadra, A., Hart, S. (1997). Massage enhances recovery from habituation in normal infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 20, 29-34.

Hart, S., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., & Lundy, B. (1998). Preschoolers'cognitive performance improves following massage. Early Child Development & Care, 143, 59-64.

Depressed Mothers' EEG Patterns are Changed by Massage and Music Therapy

Brief sessions of massage therapy and music therapy were noted to shift the EEG of depressed mothers from greater relative right frontal activation (a pattern associated with depression) to symmetry.
Jones, N., & Field, T. (1999). Right frontal EEG asymmetry is attenuated by massage and music therapy. Adolescence, 34, 529-534.

Depressed Pregnant Mothers

This study is assessing the effects of massage therapy on depressed pregnant women expecting to find decreased depression, stress hormones, and obstetric complications including lower prematurity rates.
Field, T., Diego, M., Dieter, J., & Hernandez-Reif, M. (In Review). Depressed pregnant women benefit from massage therapy.

Depressed Teenage Mothers

Teenage mothers who received massage therapy versus those who received relaxation therapy were less depressed and less anxious both by their own report and based on behavior observations. In addition, their urinary cortisol levels were lower and their serotonin levels were higher, indicating they were less stressed and less depressed.
Field, T., Grizzle, N., Scafidi, F., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Massage and relaxation therapies' effects on depressed adolescent mothers. Adolescence, 31, 903-911.

Depression in Older Adults

Sponsor: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Robert Cohen, PhD, MD

Depression

Onozawa, K., Glover, V., Adams, D., Modi, N., & Kumar, R.C. (2001). Infant massage improves mother-infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 63(1-3).

Down Syndrome

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Bornstein, J. & Fewell, R. (2006). Children with Down Syndrome improved in motor function and muscle tone following massage therapy. Journal of Early Child Development and Care, 176, 395-410.

Efficacy of Massage Therapy in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Elderly

Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Quintino, O., Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (1998). Elder retired volunteers benefit from giving massage therapy to infants. Journal of AppliedGerontology, 17, 229-239.

Hospital Job Stress

Hospital nursing and physician staff members were provided massage therapy, relaxation therapy and music therapy. These therapies significantly reduced anxiety, depression and fatigue as well as increased vigor.
Field, T., Quintino, O., Henteleff, T., Wells-Keife, L., & Delvecchio-Feinberg, G. (1997). Job stress reduction therapies. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3, 54-56.

Job Performance/Stress

Massaged subjects showed 1) decreased frontal EEG alpha and beta waves and increased delta activity consistent with enhanced alertness; 2) math problems were completed in significantly less time with significantly fewer errors after the massage; and 3) anxiety, cortisol (stress hormone) and job stress levels were lower at the end of the 5 week period.

Field, T., Ironson, G., Scafidi, F., Nawrocki, T., Goncalves, A., Burman, I., Pickens, J., Fox, N., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (1996). Massage therapy reduces anxiety andenhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 86, 197-205.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Massage therapy decreased the anxiety, depression and stress hormone levels (cortisol) of children who survived Hurricane Andrew. In addition, their drawings became less depressed.
Field, T., Seligman, S., Scafidi, F., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Alleviating posttraumatic stress in children following Hurricane Andrew. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 17, 37-50.

Army Chief Of Staff: Fort Bliss PTSD Program Should Be Replicated, A Soldier's Mind, September, 10, 2008. http://soldiersmind.com/2008/07/22/army-chief-of-staff-fort-bliss- ptsd-program-should-be-replicated/

Sexual Abuse

Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Quintino, O., Drose, L., Field, T., Kuhn, C., & Schanberg, S. (1997). Sexual abuse effects are lessened by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 1, 65-69.

Sleep

Field, T., Kilmer, T., Hernandez-Reif, M. & Burman, I. Preschool Children's Sleep and Wake Behavior: Effects of Massage Therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 120, 39-44.

Smoking

Cravings, anxious behaviors and the number of cigarettes smoked were reduced by self-massage (rubbing ear lobes or hands whenever subjects experienced a craving).
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., & Hart, S. (1999). Smoking cravings are reduced by self-massage. Preventive Medicine, 28, 28-32.

 

Neuromuscular Disorders

Cerebral Palsy

Massage therapy helped children with CP reduce spasticity, gain more muscle flexibility, and motor function and have more positive social interaction.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Largie, S., Diego, M., Manigat, N., Seonanes, J., Bornstein, J., & Waldman, R. (In Review). Cerebral palsy symptoms in children decreased following massage therapy. Journal of Early Intervention.

Multiple Sclerosis

Massage therapy decreased anxiety and depressed mood, and improved self-esteem, body image and social functioning.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Field, T., & Theakston, H. (1998). Multiple Sclerosis patients benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2, 168-174.

Siev-Ner, I., Gamus, D., Lerner-Geva, L., & Achiron, A. (2003). Reflexology treatment relieves symptoms of multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled study. Mult Scler., 9, 356-61.

Parkinson's Disease

Adults with Parkinson's Disease were assigned to receive massage therapy or progressive muscle relaxation twice a week for five weeks. The massaged group received higher physician scores on daily living activities and the participants rated themselves as improved in daily functioning, having more effective and less disturbed sleep.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Largie, S., Cullen, C., Beutler, J., Sanders, C. Weiner, W., Rodriguez-Bateman, D., Zelaya, L., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (2002). Parkinson's disease symptoms are differentially affected by massage therapy versus progressive muscle relaxation: A pilot study. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 6, 177-182.

Stroke

Mok, E., & Woo, C.P. (2004). The effects of slow-stroke back massage on anxiety and shoulder pain in elderly stroke patients. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery, 10, 209-16.

Orthopedic

Arthritis

Exploring Massage Benefits for Arthritis of the Knee (EMBARK)
Sponsor: University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey
Principal Investigator: Adam I. Perlman, MD, PhD

 

Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Sponsors: University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, Group Health Cooperative
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Karen J. Sherman, MPH, PhD

 

Massage After Surgery To Help Treat Post-Operative Pain
Sponsor: Department of Veterans Affairs
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Daniel B. Hinshaw, MD

 

Massage in Treating Painful Shoulder
Sponsor: University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw
Study Chair: Krzysztof Kassolik PhD

 

Chronic Low Back Pain and Primary Health Care
Sponsor: University of Kentucky
Principal Investigator (s) William G. Elder, PhD and Margaret M. Love, PhD

 

Massage, Meditation, and Tai Chi for Chronic Lower Back Pain
Sponsor: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Daniel C. Cherkin

 

Effect of Massage on Chronic Low Back Pain
Sponsor: National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Principal Investigator: Dan C. Cherkin, PhD

 

Massage for Low Back Pain in Nursing Staff
Sponsor: University of Sao Paulo
Principal Investigator: Talita P. Borges

 

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.

Ernst, E. (1999). Massage therapy for low back pain: a systematic revierw. Journal of Pain Symptom Management, 17, 65-69.

Ginsberg, F. and Famaey, J. P. (1987). A double-blind study of topical massage with Rado-Salil ointment in mechanical low-back pain. Journal of International Medical Research, 15, 148-153.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., & Theakston, H. (2001). Lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 106, 131-145.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Massage therapy improved functional abilities, range of motion and muscle strength in spinal cord injury patients.Diego, M., Field, T., & Hernandez-Reif, M., Brucker, B., Hart, S., & Burman, I. (2002). Spinal cord patients benefits from massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 112,133-142.

Diego, M.A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Brucker, B., Field, Tory, Burman, I. (2002). Spinal cord patients benefit from massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 112, 133-142.

Surgery Recovery

Mitchinson, A., Kim, H., Rosenberg, J., Geisser, M., Kirsh,, M., Cikrit, D., Hinshaw, D., (2007). Acute Postoperative Pain Management Using Massage as an Adjuvant Therapy A Randomized Trial, Arch Surg. 142(12):1158-1167.

Pain
Spinal Manipulation for Treatment of Chronic Headaches
Sponsor: University of Western States
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Mitchell Haas, DC

 

Muscle Treatment for Management of Pain & Disability in Tension-type Headache
Sponsor: National Centre for Complementary and Alternative
Principal Investigator: Albert Moraska, PhD

Headache

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Dieter, J., Swerdlow. & Diego, M., (1998). Migraine Headaches are Reduced by Massage Therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 1-11.

Labor Pain

Massage therapy during labor decreased anxiety and pain. In addition, the massaged mothers had shorter labor, shorter hospital stay and less depressed mood.
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Taylor, S., & Quintino, 0., & Burman, I. (1997). Labor pain is reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 18, 286-291.

Migraine Headaches

Massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms and increased serotonin levels.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Dieter, J., Swerdlow. & Diego, M., (1998). Migraine headaches were reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 1-11.

Lundeberg, T., Abrahamsson, P., & Haker, E. (1987). Vibratory stimulation compared to placebo in alleviation of pain. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 19, 153- 158. Nixon, M., Teschendorff, J., Finney, J., & Karnilowicz, W. (1997). Expanding the nursing repertoire: The effect of massage on post-operative pain. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 14, 21-26.

Soft Tissue

Blood Flow

Mori, H., Ohsawa, H., Tanaka, T.H., Taniwaki, E., Leisman, G. & Nishijo, K. (2004). Effect of massage on blood flow and muscle fatigue following isometric lumbar exercise. Med Sci Monit, 10, 173-8.

Burn in Adults

Massage therapy sessions given prior to debridement (skin brushing) decreased depression and anger, and the subjects appeared less anxious during behavior observations and reported less pain. Lower pulse and cortisol suggested lower stress levels.
Field, T., Peck, M., Krugman, S., Tuchel, T., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., & Burman, I.(1997). Burn injuries benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, 19, 241-244.

Burn in Children

Massage therapy given prior to dressing young children's (mean age = 2.5 years old) severe body burns decreased distress behaviors. Nurses also reported greater ease in completing the dressing change procedure for the children in the massage group. The massage was conducted to body parts that were not affected.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Largie, S., Hart, S., Redzepi, M., Nierenberg, B., & Peck, M. (2001). Childrens' Distress During Burn Treatment is Reduced by Massage Therapy. Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, 22, 191-195.

Post burn

Ten massage therapy sessions led to lower anxiety, anger, depression, pain and itching in adults with scars from burns.
Field, T., Peck, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Stern, S., Burman, I., Krugman, S., & Ozment-Schenck, L. (2000). Postburn itching, pain, and psychological symptoms are reduced with massage therapy. Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, 21, 189- 193.

Fibromyalgia

Comparison of Exercise and Massage in Fibromyalgia (FM)
Sponsor: Pamukkale University
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Gamze Ekici, PhD, et al

 

Comparison of Lymph Drainage and Connective Tissue Massage in Fibromyalgia Patients (FM)
Sponsor: Pamukkale University
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Gamze Ekici, PhD, et al

 

Evaluating Therapeutic Massage for Chronic Neck Pain
Sponsor: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Karen J. Sherman, PhD

 

Dosing Study of Massage for Neck Pain
Sponsor: Group Health Cooperative
Study Completed
Principal Investigator: Talita P. Borges

 

Effectiveness of Transverse Friction Massage in Latent Myofascial Trigger Points in Anterior Deltoid Muscle
Study Completed
Sponsor: University of Castilla–La mancha
Principal Investigator: Jose Miota, PhT

 

Shoulder Muscle Massage Shoulder Stiffness
Sponsor: National Taiwan University Hospital
Principal Investigator: Jiu-Jenq Lin, PhD

 

Women's Health

Pregnancy

This study showed decreased anxiety and stress hormones (norepinephrine) during pregnancy and fewer obstetric and postnatal complications including lower prematurity rates following pregnancy massage.
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Theakston, H., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., & Burman, I. (1999). Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 19, 31-38.

 

Fetal activity during midgestation was studied in response to vibratory stimulation of the mother's abdomen (at the height of the fetal head), foot massage, hand massage, or control condition. The fetuses of mothers who received a 3-minute foot massage showed greater movement than the control fetuses.
Diego, M., Dieter, J., Field, T., Lecanuet, J., Hernandez-Reif, M., Beutler, J., Largie, S., Redzepi, M., & Salman, F. (2002). Fetal activity following vibratory stimulation ofthe mother's abdomen and foot and hand massage. Developmental Psychobiology, 41, 396-406.

Premenstrual Symptoms

Mood improved and anxiety, pain and water retention symptoms decreased after massage therapy.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Martinez, A., Field, T., Quintino, O., Hart, S. & Burman, I. (2000). Premenstrual syndrome symptoms are relieved by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 21, 9-15.

 

Other
Effects of Massage Versus Rest on Hormones
Sponsor: Claremont Graduate University
Study Completed

 

Massage for Pain Relief During the Active Phase of Labor
Sponsor: University of Sao Paulo
Study Completed