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Onderzoek

Over de effecten van massage, stoelmassage en reflexologie wordt regelmatig wetenschappelijk onderzoek uitgevoerd. Hieronder een paar voorbeelden. Op het internet is natuurlijk nog veel meer te vinden.


Chair massage reducing anxiety and improving alertness

The latest controlled study conducted at the Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida, USA shows once again that massage therapy has an important role to play in the alleviation of stress and stress-induced illnesses.

In the study two times every week for five weeks, twenty-six adults were given a chair massage and twenty four adults were asked to relax in the massage chair for 15 minutes to be used as controls.

On the first and last days of the study all of the participants were monitored for EEG, before, during and after the sessions. In addition, before and after the sessions they performed math computations, they completed POMS Depression and State Anxiety Scales and they provided a saliva sample for cortisol.

At the beginning of the sessions they completed Life Events, Job Stress and Chronic POMS Depression Scales. The results revealed the following:

  1. Frontal delta power increased for both groups, suggesting relaxation;
  2. The massage group showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power (suggesting enhanced alertness); while the control group showed increased alpha and beta power;
  3. The massage group showed increased speed and accuracy on math computations while the control group did not change;
  4. Anxiety levels were lower following the massage but not the control sessions, although mood state was less depressed following both the massage and control sessions;
  5. Salivary cortisol levels were lower following the massage but not the control sessions but only on the first day; and
  6. At the end of the 5 week period, depression scores were lower for both groups but job stress score were lower only for the massage group.

This small-scale study suggests that massage therapy offers benefits in not just alleviating the physiological effects of anxiety, but also in improving mental alertness.

Field T; lronson G; Scafjdi F; Nawrocki T; Goncalves A; Burman I; Pickens J; Fox N; Schanberg 5; Kuhn C. Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience- Sep 1996,86 (3-4) p197-205.

http://informahealthcare.com


Massage therapy reduces back pain and sleep disturbance

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: A randomized between-groups design evaluated massage therapy versus relaxation for chronic low back pain.

OBJECTIVES: Treatment effects were evaluated for reducing pain, depression, anxiety and stress hormones, and sleeplessness and for improving trunk range of motion associated with chronic low back pain. SUMMARY of

BACKGROUND DATA: Twenty-four adults (M age=39.6 years) with low back pain of nociceptive origin with a duration of at least 6 months participated in the study. The groups did not differ on age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity or gender.

METHODS: Twenty-four adults (12 women) with lower back pain were randomly assigned to a massage therapy or a progressive muscle relaxation group. Sessions were 30 minutes long twice a week for five weeks. On the first and last day of the 5-week study participants completed questionnaires, provided a urine sample and were assessed for range of motion.

RESULTS: By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.

CONCLUSIONS: Massage therapy is effective in reducing pain, stress hormones and symptoms associated with chronic low back pain. PRECIS: Adults (M age=39.6 years) with low back pain with a duration of at least 6 months received two 30-min massage or relaxation therapy sessions per week for 5 weeks. Participants receiving massage therapy reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and their sleep had improved. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.

Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Krasnegor J, Theakston H.. Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine and Iris Burman, Educating Hands, Florida 33101, USA.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11264915


Reflexology & Migraine

According to a large nationwide research study undertaken in Denmark, reflexology treatment has a beneficial effect on patients suffering from migraine and tension headaches. The study was conducted at the Department of Social Pharmacy, The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy in co-operation with five reflexology associations. 220 patients participated with treatment being given by 78 fully trained reflexologist across the country.

Headaches remain the most common health problem amongst the adult population and it has been estimated that they are the reason for the loss of three million working days every year. Reflexology is renowned for its ability to help relax and calm patients and for this reason it was considered an interesting therapy to study for the treatment of tension headaches and migraine.

Of all the patients who took part in the study, 90 percent said that they had taken prescribed medication for their headaches within the month prior to the commencement of the study and, of them, 36 percent had experienced side effects from the medicines. 81 percent of the prescribed medicine in the acetvlsalicyclic acid and paracetamol group was taken at least twice a week and 72% of the stronger migraine medicines were taken at least once a fortnight which indicates that the majority of the patients were suffering from moderate to severe symptoms. 34 percent had taken medications for ailments other than headaches.

Three months after a completed series of reflexology treatments, 81 percent of patients confirmed that reflexology had either cured (16%) or helped (65%) their symptoms. 19 percent of the patients reported that they had been able to completely dispense with the medications they had been taking before the study.

The reflexologist also found that there was a strong link between headaches and the gall bladder, stomach, bladder, and endocrine hormone meridians. At the end of the study the patients who benefited from the treatment showed less stress on the reflex points for the ovaries, small intestine, bladder, stomach, liver and kidneys than they had experienced on their first treatment. The likelihood of successful cure was found to be greatest for: a) those patients whom the reflexologist found no stress on the reflex zones of the uterus or gall bladder, and b) younger patients who had suffered from headaches for a short period of time.

Brendstrup E, Launso L, Eriksen L. Reflexions March 1996, 10

www.internethealthlibrary.com/Health-problems/Migraine-research-AltTherapies.htm#Reflexology