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HOW DO I KNOW MASSAGE THERAPY HELPS - A SELECTION OF RESEARCH


Here are one or two examples relating to backaches and migraines:

1. An abstract of one study shows that massage can assist back pain. 262 people with persistent back pain received traditional acupuncture, therapeutic massage or self care educational materials for 10 weeks. At the end of the 10 weeks, people receiving massage and acupuncture showed a better response than those just given educational material. This was measured using a pre-assessment disability scale. 'The massage group used the least medications and had the lowest cost of subsequent care.' [Cherkin DC, Eisenberg D, Sherman KJ, et al (2001) Archives of Internal Medicine. 161:1081-1088]

2. Research into the effects of massage on people suffering with migraine has also been positive. A group of people experiencing migraine was divided in two. The control group was put on a 'waiting-list' and the other had two 30 minute massage treatments twice a week for five consecutive weeks. Those receiving massage reported 'fewer distress symptoms, less pain, more headache free days, fewer sleep disturbances and taking fewer analgesics. They also showed an increase in serotonin levels.'[Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Dieter J, et al (1998) Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience 96:1-11]

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