- Decreased pain. Children with mild to moderate juvenile rheumatoid arthritis who were given massages by their parents 15 minutes per day for one month experienced less anxiety and lower cortisol levels. Over a 30-day period, parents, kids and their physicians reported less pain overall in the children.
- Enhanced immune function. In studies, women with breast cancer and HIV patients showed a measurable increase in natural killer cells
-- part of a line of defense in the immune system against virus-infected cells and cancer cells -- after massage. They also experienced less anxiety and depression.
- Happier, healthier babies. Preemies who were touched more while in the NICU gained more weight.
- Less labor pain. Women in labor who received a backrub the first 15 minutes of every hour of labor reported less pain and made fewer requests for pain medications. Their labor was also shorter, on average.
- Enhanced alertness and performance. Following massage, adults completed math problems in significantly less time and with fewer errors
Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida.
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