Spa Services: Massage for Mental Health

New research recently published in clinical journals help substantiate the mental health benefits of massage therapy.

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New research recently published in clinical journals help substantiate the mental health benefits of massage therapy, according to a official statement from the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

Research published in the April 2013 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage therapy could help reduce symptoms of depression for those with HIV disease. The eight-week study reportedly found massage significantly reduced the severity of depression starting at week four and continuing through weeks six and eight. The ATMA believes the study shows that regular therapeutic massage could be a benefit for those with HIV that are suffering from depression.

Cancer patients who received a back massage during chemotherapy experienced lessened anxiety and fatigue, according to a study published in the September 2013 issue of Applied Nursing Research. The ATMA says this study is an example of how massage therapy could benefit patients as a regular part of a cancer treatment plan.

In addition to the above studies, the AMTA conducted its annual consumer survey in August and found that massage therapy is increasingly finding a place in Americans’ health and wellness regimens. Finding indicated that 88% of respondents believe massage is beneficial to overall health and wellness. That same percentage believe massage can be effective in reducing pain, and 75% of those surveyed said their primary reason for getting a massage was either medical (43%) or stress-related (32%). More than half of respondents stated that it was their doctor who gave them the recommendation to get a massage.

For more information, visit www.amtamassage.org.