American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has put together a list
of 25 evidence-based ways that massage therapy can improve health
and wellness and relieve symptoms of common health conditions.
Each item on the list below is linked to an AMTA article that in
turn links to research behind the benefit:
Manage low-back pain
Help fibromyalgia pain
Reduce muscle tension
Enhance exercise performance
Relieve tension headaches
Ease symptoms of depression
Improve cardiovascular health
pain of osteoarthritis
stress in cancer patients
Improve balance in older adults
rheumatoid arthritis pain
Temper effects of dementia
symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
chronic neck pain
joint replacement pain
Increase range of motion
Decrease migraine frequency
24. Improve quality
of life in hospice care
The AMTA is also offering the list as a
downloadable flyer that massage therapists can use in their
practice, or that massage enthusiasts can give to friends to
encourage them to get a massage.
If you've never received a professional massage, National
University of Health Sciences offers affordable massage therapy at
its on-campus integrative medical clinic - the NUHS Whole Health
National University faculty member, Dr. Jerrilyn
Cambron was quoted in a recent U.S. News and World Report
article on massage therapy, titled "Massage as Medicine." Dr. Cambron is a noted
expert on massage therapy research, and is the president of the Massage Therapy Foundation, a leading massage
The article highlights that the American Hospital Association
recently surveyed 1,007 hospitals about their use of complementary
and alternative medicine therapies. More than 80 percent said they
offered massage therapy. Upwards of 70 percent said they used
massage for pain management and relief.
The growing use of massage therapy in hospitals and integrative
medical settings is why NUHS provides its massage students with
internship experience in an on-campus integrative medical
clinic. NUHS massage
therapy graduates are prepared to successfully bring their
skills into a medical environment.
In addition, massage therapy students at NUHS enjoy the prestige
of studying at a university boasting many noted leaders in the
massage therapy profession, such as Dr. Cambron.
Do you or someone you know get the wintertime "blues"? Less
sunlight in the winter, coupled with more time indoors, can trigger
what is known as "Seasonal
Affective Disorder" in many people. SAD can prove to be a
serious form of depression and reduce the quality of life for those
with the disorder.
One of the many therapies that can help SAD is
massage. A recent article from the American Massage
Therapy Association catalogs several proven ways in which massage
therapy can counteract physiological mood factors that often
accompany SAD. According to the AMTA, massage can:
Treating those with SAD is one of the many ways that massage
therapists can offer real help to their clients as part of an
integrative medical team. Want to learn more about massage therapy
in an integrative medical setting? Just visit our website!
And if winter has you down, why not schedule a massage at the NUHS Whole Health
Center in Lombard? You can also work with our chiropractic,
naturopathic or oriental medicine clinicians to find additional
treatments to help reduce the symptoms of SAD.
separate studies, massage therapy shows promise in reducing pain
and increasing the range of motion for those with osteoarthritis of
One study had a group of patients attend supervised self-massage
sessions twice a week, and taught them a regimen of self-massage
techniques to use at home. At the end of the study, researchers
found an overall improvement in stiffness, function and pain for
the intervention group, while a control group that did not
participate in the self-massage remained the same.
In a second study, patients receiving regular weekly or
bi-weekly massage showed reduced pain and stiffness and increased
Here is a
summary of both studies prepared by the American Massage
It's great to know that massage therapy may have the potential
to reduce reliance on prescription and over-the-counter pain
medication in osteoarthritis of the knee.
Most athletes can testify to the pain-relieving,
recovery-promoting effects of massage. Now there's a scientific
basis that supports booking a session with a massage therapist: On
the cellular level massage reduces inflammation and promotes the
growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle. So says new research
from the Buck Institute on Aging and McMaster University in
Hamilton, Ontario. You can read more about this study and watch a video
from one of the researchers explaining how they made the
The study involved the genetic analysis of muscle biopsies taken
from the quadriceps of eleven young males after they had exercised
to exhaustion on a stationary bicycle. One of their legs was
randomly chosen to be massaged. Biopsies were taken from both legs
prior to the exercise, immediately after 10 minutes of massage
treatment and after a 2.5 hour period of recovery.
Buck Institute faculty Simon Melov, PhD, was responsible for the
genetic analysis of the tissue samples. "Our research showed that
massage dampened the expression of inflammatory cytokines in the
muscle cells and promoted biogenesis of mitochondria, which are the
energy-producing units in the cells," said Melov. He added that the
pain reduction associated with massage may involve the same
mechanism as those targeted by conventional anti-inflammatory
drugs. "There's general agreement that massage feels good, now we
have a scientific basis for the experience," said Melov.
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