Stress is a prevalent component in today’s fast-paced world and it can negatively impact on an individual’s health and well-being. Massage therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing stress, on both physical and psychological levels. While us massage therapists know this from experience, there is considerable research that validates our experience.
One study on the effect of trigger point therapy recorded a significant decrease in heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure. Controlled studies show that after a 10 to 15 minute chair massage in controlled studies measures of oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and salivary cortisol levels are all lower . Changes in psychological states have been measured by physiological responses, the Perceived Stress Scale, the POMS Depression Scale, and the Anxiety State Scale.
All subjects in the massage group showed significant changes in emotional states and stress levels.
- Delaney, J.P., Leong, K.S., Watkins, A., & Brodie, D. (2002). The short-term effects of myofascial trigger point massage therapy on cardiac autonomic tone in healthy subjects. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37, 364-71.
- Boone, T., Tanner, M., & Radosevich, A. (2001). Effects of a 10-minute back rub on cardiovascular responses in healthy subjects. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 29, 47-52.
- Cady, S. H., & Jones, G. E. (1997). Massage therapy as a workplace intervention for reduction of stress. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 84, 157-158.
- 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 and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations.
- International Journal of Neuroscience, 86, 197-205.
- Brennan, M.K. & DeBate, R. (2004).The effect of chair massage on stress perception of hospital bedside nurses. Massage Therapy Journal 43, (1), 76-86.
- Field, T., Quintino, O., Henteleff, T., Wells-Keife, L., & Delvecchio-Feinberg, G. (1997). Job stress reduction therapies. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3, (4), 54-56.
- MacDonald, G. (1998). Massage offers respite for primary care givers. The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, Jan/Feb, 43-47.
- Cady, S. H. & Jones, G. E. (1997). Massage therapy as a workplace intervention for reduction of stress. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 84(1), 157-158.