New Jersey mini-map with Saint Francis Veterinary Center marker
392 Kings Highway
Woolwich Township
New Jersey 08085

856.467.0050

Massage

cat_massageWhat is massage?

Massage is a “hands on” treatment in which a therapist manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body to improve health and well being. Varieties of massage range from gentle stroking and kneading of muscles and other soft tissues to deeper manual techniques.

Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for centuries in nearly every culture around the world. It helps relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and evoke feelings of calmness. Although massage affects the body as a whole, it particularly influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems.

What is the history of massage?

The use of massage for healing purposes dates back 4,000 years in Chinese medical literature and continues to be an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

In the early 20th century, the rise of technology and prescription drugs began to overshadow massage therapy. For the next several decades, massage remained dormant, with only a few therapists continuing to practice the “ancient” technique. During the 1970s, however, both the general public and the medical profession began to take notice of alternative medicine and mind-body therapies, including massage therapy. Today, more than 125,000 massage therapists practice in the United States. Their numbers are growing rapidly to keep up with the more than 80 million massage therapy appointments people make every year.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/massage-000354.htm#ixzz2JDRKNYU6

How does massage work?

For centuries, human touch has been shown to be emotionally and physically healing. Particular massage techniques may either stimulate or calm the body’s muscles and tissues to create a desired effect. When a practitioner massages soft tissue, electrical signals are transmitted both to the local area and throughout the body. These signals, in combination with the healing properties of touch, help heal damaged muscle, stimulate circulation, clear waste products via the lymphatic system, boost the activity of the immune system, reduce pain and tension, and induce a calming effect. Massage may also enhance well being by stimulating the release of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood elevators) and reducing levels of certain stress hormones.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/massage-000354.htm#ixzz2JDRMU6bH

What is massage good for?

In general, massage is believed to support healing, boost energy, reduce recovery time after an injury, ease pain, and enhance relaxation, mood, and well being. It is useful for many musculoskeletal problem. One study in humans found that deep tissue massage reduced blood pressure levels (an average reduction of 10.4 mm Hg in systolic pressure and a diastolic pressure reduction of 5.3 mm Hg). Other studies show that massage may have immediate beneficial effects on pain and mood among patients with advanced cancer.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/massage-000354.htm#ixzz2JDRREHFd

Are there any risks associated with massage?

In general, massage is considered relatively safe. Pain or other rare negative side effects are generally caused by an extremely vigorous massage technique.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/massage-000354.htm#ixzz2JDRUO1af

What is the future of massage?

More research is needed to determine how effective massage therapy is, which health problems improve the most from this technique, and whether it is more cost effective than other types of treatment.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/massage-000354.htm#ixzz2JDRX4KEz

References (in human medicine)

Anderson PG, Cutshall SM. Massage therapy: a comfort intervention for cardiac surgery patients. Clin Nurse Spec. 2007;21(3):161-5; quiz 166-7.

Barlow A, Clarke R, Johnson N, Seabourne B, Thomas D, Gal J. Effect of massage of the hamstring muscles on selected electromyographic characteristics of biceps femoris during sub-maximal isometric contraction. Int J Sports Med. 2007;28(3):253-6.

Beider S, Mahrer N, Gold J. Pediatric Massage Therapy: An Overview for Clinicians. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2007;54(6).

Bernas M, Witte M, Kriederman B, Summers P, Witte C. Massage therapy in the treatment of lymphedema. Rationale, results, and applications. IEEE Eng Med Biol Mag. 2005;24(2):58-68.

Billhult A, Bergbom I, Stener-Victorin E. Massage relieves nausea in women with breast cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13(1):53-7.

Billhult A, Stener-Victorin E, Bergbom I. The experience of massage during chemotherapy treatment in breast cancer patients. Clin Nurs Res. 2007;16(2):85-99; discussion 100-2.

Buckle S. Aromatherapy and massage: the evidence. Paediatr Nurs. 2003;15(6):24-7.

Button C, Anderson N, Bradford C, Cotter JD, Ainslie PN. The effect of multidirectional mechanical vibration on peripheral circulation of humans. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2007;27(4):211-6.

Cambron JA, Dexheimer J, Coe P. Changes in blood pressure after various forms of therapeutic massage: a preliminary study. J Altern Complement Med. 2006;12(1):65-70.

Dryden T, Baskwill A, Preyde M. Massage therapy for the orthopaedic patient: a review. Orthop Nurs. 2004;23(5):327-32; quiz 333-4.

Duimel-Peeters IG, Hulsenboom MA, Berger MP, Snoeckx LH, Halfens RJ. Massage to prevent pressure ulcers: knowledge, beliefs and practice. A cross-sectional study among nurses in the Netherlands in 1991 and 2003. J Clin Nurs. 2006;15(4):428-35.

Ezzo J, Haraldsson BG, Gross AR, et al.; Cervical Overview Group. Massage for mechanical neck disorders: a systematic review. Spine. 2007;32(3):353-62.

Field T, Diego M, Hernandez-Reif M. Potential underlying mechanisms for greater weight gain in massaged preterm infants. Infant Behav Dev. 2011;34(3):383-9.

Furlan AD, Imamura M, Dryden T, Irvin E. Massage for low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(4):CD001929.

Gordon C, Emiliozzi C, Zartarian M. Use of a mechanical massage technique in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a preliminary study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;87(1):145-7.

Hennenfent BR, Lazarte AR, Feliciano AE Jr. Repetitive prostatic massage and drug therapy as an alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate. MedGenMed. 2006;8(4):19.

Kaye AD, Kaye AJ, Swinford J, Baluch A, Bawcom BA, Lambert TJ, Hoover JM. The effect of deep-tissue massage therapy on blood pressure and heart rate. J Altern Complement Med. 2008;14(2):125-8.

Kutner JS, Smith MC, Corbin L, Hemphill L, Benton K, Mellis BK, Beaty B, Felton S, Yamashita TE, Bryant LL, Fairclough DL. Massage therapy versus simple touch to improve pain and mood in patients with advanced cancer: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(6):369-79.

Maa SH, Tsou TS, Wang KY, Wang CH, Lin HC, Huang YH. Self-administered acupressure reduces the symptoms that limit daily activities in bronchiectasis patients: pilot study findings. J Clin Nurs. 2007;16(4):794-804.

Macgregor R, Campbell R, Gladden MH, Tennant N, Young D. Effects of massage on the mechanical behaviour of muscles in adolescents with spastic diplegia: a pilot study. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007;49(3):187-91.

McNeill JA, Alderdice FA, McMurray F. A retrospective cohort study exploring the relationship between antenatal reflexology and intranatal outcomes. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006;12(2):119-25.

Munk N, Kruger T, Zanjani F. Massage therapy usage and reported health in older adults experiencing persistent pain. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(7):609-16.

Myers C, Walton T, Small B. The Value of Massage Therapy in Cancer Care. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2008;22(4).

Plews-Ogan M, Owens JE, Goodman M, Wolfe P, Schorling J. A pilot study evaluating mindfulness-based stress reduction and massage for the management of chronic pain. JGen Intern Med. 2005;20(12):1136-8.

Rakel B, Barr JO. Physical modalities in chronic pain management. Nurs Clin North Am. 2003;38(3):477-94.

Roh YS, Cho H, Oh JO, Yoon CJ. Effects of skin rehabilitation massage therapy on pruritus, skin status, and depression in burn survivors. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2007;37(2):221-6.

Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Deyo RA, Erro JH, Hrbek A, Davis RB, Eisenberg DM. The diagnosis and treatment of chronic back pain by acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists. Clin J Pain. 2006;22(3):227-34.

Skillgate E, Vingard E, Alfredsson L. Naprapathic manual therapy or evidence-based care for back and neck pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Clin J Pain. 2007;23(5):431-9.

Venesy DA. Physical medicine and complementary approaches. Neurol Clin. 2007;25(2):523-37.

Vernon H, Humphreys K, Hagino C. Chronic mechanical neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systematic review of change scores in randomized clinical trials. JManipulative Physiol Ther. 2007;30(3):215-27.

Wilkinson SM, Love SB, Westcombe AM, et al., Effectiveness of aromatherapy massage in the management of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(5):532-9.

Wu HS, Lin LC, Wu SC, Lin JG. The psychologic consequences of chronic dyspnea in chronic pulmonary obstruction disease: the effects of acupressure on depression. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13(2):253-61.

Yang MH, Wu SC, Lin JG, Lin LC. The efficacy of acupressure for decreasing agitated behaviour in dementia: a pilot study. J Clin Nurs. 2007;16(2):308-15.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/massage-000354.htm#ixzz2JDRaWuZC