Am Psychol. 1998 Dec; 53(12): 1270-81.
Massage therapy effects.
Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33101, USA.
Massage therapy is older than recorded time, and rubbing was the primary form of medicine until the pharmaceutical revolution of the 1940s. Popularized again as part of the alternative medicine movement, massage therapy has recently received empirical support for facilitating growth, reducing pain, increasing alertness, diminishing depression, and enhancing immune function. In this article studies are reviewed that document these effects, and models are proposed for potential underlying mechanisms.