Massage Therapy Research

Massage Therapy Research

By Tiffany Field, PhD, Professor and Director, Touch Research Institute, University of Miami, School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University, Miami, FL, USA


1. Massage Therapy Research Methods

2. Reducing Prematurity

Study 1 Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy

Study 2 Massage therapy effects on depressed pregnant women

Study 3 Fetal activity following stimulation of the mother?s abdomen, feet and hands

3. Enhancing Growth and Development

Study 1 Stable preterm infants gain more weight and sleep less after five days of massage therapy

Study 2 Vagal activity, gastric motility and weight gain in massaged preterm neonates

Study 3 Massage therapy by parents improves early growth and development

Study 4 Sleep problems in infants decrease following massage therapy

4. Increasing Attentiveness

Study 1 Massage enhances congnitive performance in normal infants

Study 2 Preschooler?s cognitive performance improves following massage

Study 3 Autism symptoms decrease following massage therapy

Study 4 Massage therapy improves mood and behaviour of students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Study 5 Massage therapy of moderate and light pressure and vibrator effects on EEG and heart rate

Study 6 Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations

5. Decreasing Depression and Aggression

Study 1 EEG during lavender and rosemary exposure in infants of depressed and non-depressed mothers

Study 2 Massage and music therapies attenuate frontal EEG asymmetry in depressed adolescents

Study 3 Aggressive adolescents benefit from massage therapy

6. Improving Neuromuscular Function

Study 1 Massage therapy and relaxation effects on university dance students

Study 2 Spinal cord patients benefit from massage therapy

Study 3 Cerebral palsy in children decreased after massage therapy

Study 4 Children with Down Syndrome improved in motor function and muscle tone following massage therapy

Study 5 Parkinson?s symptoms are reduced by massage therapy

7. Movement Studies

Study 1 Creative movement therapy benefits children with autism

Study 2 Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: benefits from Tai Chi

Study 3 Movement and massage therapy reduce fibromyalgia pain

Study 4 Senior citizens benefit from movement therapy

8. Pain Reduction

Study 1 Children?s distress during burn treatment is reduced by massage therapy

Study 2 Lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy

Study 3 Fibromyalgia pain and substance P decrease and sleep improves after massage therapy

Study 4 Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are lessened following massage therapy

9. Enhancing Immune Function

Study 1 HIV adolescents show improved immune function following massage therapy

Study 2 Leukaemia immune changes following massage therapy

Study 3 Breast cancer patients have improved immune and neoroendocrine functions following massage therapy

Study 4 Natural killer cells and lymphocytes are increased in women with breast cancer following massage therapy

Appendix I: Sleep States and Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale

Appendix II: Massage Therapy Abstracts
Index