Research and Articles

Massage Research

Massage in Workplace reduces anxiety
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.

METHODS: An on-site chair massage therapy program was provided to reduce anxiety levels of 18 employees in a downsizing organization. 15 control group Ss participated in break therapy. Subjects’ stress levels were measured with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, which was administered twice during pretest, post test, and delayed post test to achieve stable measures. RESULTS: Significant reductions in anxiety levels were found for the massage group.

General Massage Research
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.

METHODS: A randomized between-groups design evaluated massage therapy versus relaxation for chronic low back pain. Treatment effects were evaluated for reducing pain, depression, anxiety and stress hormones, and sleeplessness and for improving trunk range of motion associated with chronic low back pain. RESULTS: By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.

Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Diego, M., & Fraser, M. (2007). Lower back pain and sleep disturbance are reduced following massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy, 11, 141-145.

Massage therapy versus relaxation therapy with chronic low back pain patients was evaluated for reducing pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, for improving trunk range of motion (ROM) and for reducing job absenteeism and increasing job productivity. Thirty adults with low back pain with a duration of at least 6 months pain participated in the study. On the first and last day of the 5-week study participants completed questionnaires and were assessed for ROM. By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported less pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J. & Theakston, H. (2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31-38.
METHODS: Thirty adults with controlled hypertension (for at least the last six months) were randomly assigned to either a massage therapy group or a progressive relaxation group. Those in the massage group were given twice-weekly 30-minute massage sessions for five weeks. Participants in the progressive muscle relaxation group received instructions on completing self-administered, twice-weekly 30-minute exercises for five weeks. RESULTS: Results showed that while both group had lower anxiety levels (STAI) and lower levels of depression (CES-D), only the massage therapy group showed decreases in sitting diastolic and systolic blood pressure; decreases in salivary and urinary cortisol stress-hormone levels; and lower scores for depression, anxiety and hostility.

Massage and Headache research
Quinn, C., Chandler, C., & Moraska, A. (2002). Massage therapy and frequency of chronic tension headaches. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 1657-1661.

METHODS: This study examined the effects of massage therapy on chronic, nonmigraine headache. Four chronic tension headache sufferers (aged 18-55 yrs) received structured massage therapy treatment directed toward the neck and shoulder muscles during a 4-wk period. RESULTS: Massage therapy reduced the number of weekly headaches. Headache frequency was significantly reduced within the initial week of massage treatment, and continued for the remainder of the study. A trend toward reduction in average duration of each headache event between the baseline period and the treatment period was also observed.