Saturday, September 12, 2009

Massage Therapy Research

The therapeutic benefits of massage continue to be researched and studied. Recent research has shown the effectiveness of massage for the following conditions:

  • Cancer-related fatigue.
  • Low back pain.
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Reducing post-operative pain.
  • Boosting the body’s immune system functioning.
  • Decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Reducing headache frequency.
  • Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Decreasing pain in cancer patients.
From American Massage Therapy Association

Monday, September 7, 2009

Can You Rub Out High Blood Pressure?

Finally. An indulgence that may actually be good for you. What is it, you ask? A long, deep massage.

When people with sore muscles received a deep-tissue massage, both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) numbers dropped several points. Nice.

More Points for Pressure
There's still more research needed in order to figure out if regular massage could reduce high blood pressure long-term. But in this study, people averaged a short-term drop from about 125/76 down to 115/70 -- after just 45 to 60 minutes of deep-tissue work from a licensed bodyworker. Not too shabby. The massage sessions also induced a relaxing 10-point drop in heart rate. Ahhh.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Massage can relief symptoms of Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disease of the hand characterized by numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. The disease typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly troublesome at night. A major nerve, specifically the median nerve, travels down the arm and enters the hand through the carpal tunnel, which is located in the central part of the wrist. In people with carpal tunnel syndrome, pressure in the carpal tunnel is higher than in unaffected people, and median nerve irritation occurs.

Many conditions can cause increased pressure within the carpal tunnel and lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome was first described with broken wrists. A broken wrist can cause bleeding and swelling within the carpal tunnel leading to increased pressure within the carpal tunnel. Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome have no identifiable cause. It affects almost 5% of the population and is most common in middle-aged women. Carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed based on the complaints of the individual combined with physical tests and often electrical studies. No single test is definitive for diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Instead, the person's complaints and test findings together lead to its diagnosis.