Seventy-six clinical nurse specialists—all of whom worked in various inpatient and outpatient units in a large Midwest medical facility—were surveyed electronically on their use of complementary therapies for patients and themselves, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic published on www.pubmed.gov.
“There has been an increase in the use and awareness of complementary and integrative therapies in the United States over the last 10 years,” the report noted. “Clinical nurse specialists are in an ideal place to influence this paradigm shift in medicine to provide holistic care.”
The top therapies requested most by patients were massage, spirituality/prayer, healing touch, acupuncture and music therapy. The top therapies the nurses personally used were humor, massage, spirituality/prayer, music therapy and relaxed breathing.
The results indicated most of the nurses thought complementary therapies were beneficial, the researchers noted.
The results of this study will help determine educational needs and clinical practice of complementary therapies at the medical center, the report stated.
Reuters reports on a recent scientific study where a team of doctors “searched for randomized controlled trials of massage therapy in depressed patients. They identified 17 studies including 786 people in all. In 13 of the trials, massage therapy was compared to another active treatment such as Chinese herbs, relaxation exercises, or rest, while four compared massage to a “no treatment” control group. Investigators also used a range of methods for evaluating mood and depression in study participants.
Overall, the studies, which were of “moderate” quality, showed that massage therapy had “potentially significant effects” in alleviating symptoms of depression, the researchers report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
It’s not clear from the analysis, they emphasize, whether a person would need to undergo regular massage therapy for benefits to persist.
There are a number of ways through which massage could help people with depression, the researchers note, for example, by reducing stress and inducing relaxation; building an “alliance” between the therapist and patient; and by causing the body to release the “trust hormone” oxytocin.”
“Pregnancy massage has been growing in popularity due to its healing and relaxation properties to both mom and baby. Prenatal is often a cherished time, and awaiting the birth of a new baby is exciting and exhilarating, however, the effects of prenatal can wreck havoc on a blossoming body. Many pregnant women experience uncomfortable bodily changes including increases in swelling, muscle tension, and other various aches and pains. Prenatal massage can help relieve some, if not all of these unwanted effects. In fact, massage has the power to reduce stress, promote relaxation, stimulate the circulatory system, relieve aches and pains, and prepare the muscles for childbirth.”
Here are a few interesting massage facts provided by NCBTMB:
- Today, 39 million American adults – more than one out of every six – get at least one massage each year.
- Massage therapy has been proven effective in:
Relieving back pain
Boosting immune system
Lowering blood pressure
Decreasing carpal tunnel symptoms
Easing post-operative pain
Alleviating side effects of cancer
- Because massage and bodywork directly or indirectly affects every system of the body, it promotes health, prevents illness and injury, and speeds recovery.
- In 1996, massage therapy and bodywork was officially offered for the first time as a core medical service in the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, and nationally certified practitioners provided key medical services.
Massage facts by NCBTMB