Emerging research on massage therapy continues to expand knowledge of its benefits for a variety of health conditions, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). Recent studies reinforce evidence for the efficacy of massage therapy for pain, fatigue and anxiety, which millions of Americans are experiencing.
Massage is now a valuable component of treatments for pain after breast cancer surgery and cancer-related fatigue, as well as for low back pain and arthritis pain. One study supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health showed substantial improvements in pain, mobility, and overall health among intervention participants after breast cancer surgery. Myofascial massage significantly reduced self-reported pain and mobility limitations. Myofascial massage also resulted in significant improvements in self-reported overall health.
Another study of cancer patients concluded that six weeks of weekly Swedish massage therapy produced a significant reduction in fatigue among breast cancer survivors who had received surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.
Other recent studies have focused on massage therapy for chronic low back pain and arthritis pain. The Kentucky Pain Research and Outcomes Study evaluated the impact of massage on pain, disability, and health-related quality of life for primary care patients with chronic low back pain. The study found clinical improvement after 12 weeks of massage therapy.
A systematic review of seven research studies on massage therapy for patients with arthritis indicated that massage therapy is superior to non-active therapies in reducing pain and improving certain functional outcomes.
Find a Massage Therapist Near You
Individuals should consult with a qualified, professional massage therapist to determine the best massage therapy approach for their specific needs. American Massage Therapy Association massage therapists meet or exceed state education requirements, ascribe to a code of ethics and participate in continuing education. They can create specialized massage approaches based on individual conditions, fitness and goals.
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