Frequent massage boosts biological benefits

By: Kathi Baker, Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Repeated massage therapy delivers sustained, cumulative beneficial effects, a new study shows. The effects persist for several days to a week, and differ depending on the frequency of sessions. Results of the study were reported in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The researchers, led by Mark Hyman Rapaport, examined the biological effects of repeated Swedish Massage Therapy and light touch intervention. In a priorstudy, the researchers found that healthy people who undergo a single session of Swedish Massage experience measureable changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response. "We expanded the study to show the effects of repeated massage because we believed the frequency of massage, or the interval between massages, may have different biological and psychological effects than a single session," explains Rapaport, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. The study was conducted over five weeks, assessing neuroendocrine and immune parameters. Study volunteers were randomized into four intervention groups to receive a concurrent five weeks of Swedish Massage once a week or twice a week, or a light touch control once a week or twice a week. Source: eScienceCommons

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