Document Detail

A preliminary study of the effects of repeated massage on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and immune function in healthy individuals: a study of mechanisms of action and dosage.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22775448     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: This study gathers preliminary data about the biologic effects of repeated Swedish massage therapy compared to a light-touch control condition.
DESIGN: The study design was a 5-week comparison of repeated Swedish massage and light touch on oxytocin (OT), arginine-vasopressin (AVP), adrenal corticotropin hormone (ACTH), cortisol (CORT), circulating phenotypic lymphocyte markers, and mitogen-stimulated cytokine function.
SETTING: The setting was an outpatient research unit in an academic medical center.
PARTICIPANTS: The study subjects were medically and psychiatrically healthy young adults.
INTERVENTION: The study comprised 45 minutes of Swedish massage or light touch, using highly specified and identical protocols, either weekly or twice weekly for 5 weeks.
OUTCOME MEASURES: The outcome measures were mean differences between massage and light touch on OT, AVP, ACTH, CORT, lymphocyte markers, and cytokine levels.
RESULTS: Compared to the touch control condition, weekly Swedish massage stimulated a sustained pattern of increased circulating phenotypic lymphocyte markers and decreased mitogen-stimulated cytokine production, similar to what was previously reported for a single massage session, while having minimal effect on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function. Twice-weekly massage produced a different response pattern with increased OT levels, decreased AVP, and decreased CORT but little effect on circulating lymphocyte phenotypic markers and a slight increase in mitogen-stimulated interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1b and IL-2 levels, suggesting increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
CONCLUSIONS: There are sustained cumulative biologic actions for the massage and touch interventions that persist for several days or a week, and these differ profoundly depending on the dosage (frequency) of sessions. Confirmatory studies in larger samples are needed.
Mark H Rapaport; Pamela Schettler; Catherine Bresee
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2012-07-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  18     ISSN:  1557-7708     ISO Abbreviation:  J Altern Complement Med     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-14     Completed Date:  2012-12-17     Revised Date:  2014-07-31    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9508124     Medline TA:  J Altern Complement Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  789-97     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
Arginine Vasopressin / blood
Cytokines / blood
Hormones / blood*
Hydrocortisone / blood
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System*
Inflammation / blood*
Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
Lymphocytes / metabolism*
Massage / methods*
Oxytocin / blood
Pituitary-Adrenal System*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cytokines; 0/Hormones; 0/Inflammation Mediators; 113-79-1/Arginine Vasopressin; 50-56-6/Oxytocin; 9002-60-2/Adrenocorticotropic Hormone; WI4X0X7BPJ/Hydrocortisone

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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