Massage Therapy Can Help Lower Blood Pressure & Control Stress
In a study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers concluded massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women. The study showed that the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after massage.
A separate study in the same publication had similar findings; those that received regular Swedish massage therapy over a period of four weeks had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not have a massage.
Massage Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain
Research released in July 2011 expanded on previous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of massage therapy for chronic low back pain. Researchers found that “patients receiving massage were twice as likely as those receiving usual care to report significant improvements in both their pain and function”. The study was conducted over 10 weeks through Group Health Research Institute.
Participants had a 60-minute massage once a week for 10 weeks. Massage patients also said they reduced the amount of over the counter anti-inflammatory medications they took. The study compared both relaxation massage and “structural massage” therapy and found no difference in the results from the type of massage given.
Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome characterized by generalized pain, joint rigidity, intense fatigue, sleep alterations, headache, spastic colon, craniomandibular dysfunction, anxiety, and depression. This study demonstrated that massage-myofascial release techniques improved pain and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia.
The study found reductions in sensitivity to pain at tender points in patients with fibromyalgia. Patients in the massage group received 90-minute massage for 20 weeks. Immediately after treatment and one month after the massage program, anxiety levels, quality of sleep, pain and quality of life were still improved.