Massage Therapy

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A study was done on fibromyalgia patients by Sunshine et al. to compare the effects of massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) therapy. Results showed that: “The massage therapy group improved on the dolorimeter measure of pain. They also reported less pain the last week, less stiffness and fatigue, and fewer nights of difficult sleeping. Thus, massage therapy was the most effective therapy with these fibromyalgia patients. (Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Sunshine W1, Field TM, Quintino O, Fierro K, Kuhn C, Burman I, Schanberg S. J Clin Rheumatol. 1996 Feb;2(1):18-22.)

Another study by Field et al of fibromyalgia patients studied the effects of massage therapy “versus relaxation therapy on sleep, substance P, and pain in fibromyalgia patients”. Treatments were for 30-minutes twice a week for 5 weeks. Results showed that only the massage group increased their number of sleep hours and decreased their sleep movements. (Field, T., Diego, M., Cullen, C., Hernandez-Reif, M., & Sunshine, W. (2002). Fibromyalgia pain and substance P decreases and sleep improves following massage therapy. J Clin Rheumatol. 8, 72-76.)