Research

Pilot Study evaluating the effect of Massage Therapy

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 May;42(5):414-22. doi: 10.1080/00048670801961131.
Pilot study evaluating the effect of massage therapy on stress, anxiety and aggression in a young adult psychiatric inpatient unit.
Garner B1, Phillips LJ, Schmidt HM, Markulev C, O'Connor J, Wood SJ, Berger GE, Burnett P, McGorry PD.
Author information
Abstract


OBJECTIVE:
The aim of the present pilot study was to examine the effectiveness of a relaxation massage therapy programme in reducing stress, anxiety and aggression on a young adult psychiatric inpatient unit.


METHOD:
This was a prospective, non-randomized intervention study comparing treatment as usual (TAU) with TAU plus massage therapy intervention (MT) over consecutive 7 week blocks (May-August 2006). MT consisted of a 20 min massage therapy session offered daily to patients during their period of hospitalization. The Kennedy Nurses' Observational Scale for Inpatient Evaluation (NOSIE), the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and stress hormone (saliva cortisol) levels were used to measure patient outcomes at admission and discharge from the unit. The Staff Observation Aggression Scale-Revised (SOAS-R) was used to monitor the frequency and severity of aggressive incidents on the unit.

RESULTS:
There was a significant reduction in self-reported anxiety (p < 0.001), resting heart rate (p < 0.05) and cortisol levels (p < 0.05) immediately following the initial and final massage therapy sessions. Significant improvements in hostility (p = 0.007) and depression scores (p < 0.001) on the SCL-90-R were observed in both treatment groups. There was no group x time interaction on any of the measures. Poor reliability of staff-reported incidents on the SOAS-R limited the validity of results in this domain.

CONCLUSIONS:
Massage therapy had immediate beneficial effects on anxiety-related measures and may be a useful de-escalating tool for reducing stress and anxiety in acutely hospitalized psychiatric patients. Study limitations preclude any definite conclusions on the effect of massage therapy on aggressive incidents in an acute psychiatric setting. Randomized controlled trials are warranted.
Comment in
Clinical applications of massage therapy for the management of psychiatric disorders besides anxiety. [Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008]

Massage Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2013 Jul;17(3):332-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2012.12.003. Epub 2012 Dec 23.

Massage therapy as an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Elliott R, Burkett B.

Source
Centre for Healthy Activities Sport and Exercise (CHASE), University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC 4558, Australia.

Abstract

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common peripheral entrapment that causes neuralgia in the median nerve distribution of the hand. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of massage therapy as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Within this process, the locations of trigger-points that refer neuropathy to the hand were identified. The creation of massage pressure tables provides a means of treatment reproducibility. Twenty-one participants received 30 min of massage, twice a week, for six weeks. Carpal tunnel questionnaires, the Phalen, Tinel, and two-point discrimination tests provided outcome assessment. The results demonstrated significant (p < 0.001) change in symptom severity and functional status from two weeks. Based on this study, the combination of massage and trigger-point therapy is a viable treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome and offers a new treatment approach.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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