Medical researchers around the globe are exploring the healing powers of massage. Therapists already knew that the ancient healing modality of massage was an effective way to alleviate a wide variety of ailments. Now Western science is catching up, as researchers deliver formal studies on how massage can heal. This blog lists just a handful of the findings regarding massage.

Medicinal Massage Research Findings: Massage as a Proven Healing Modality

Infant Massage to Improve Baby’s Sleep and Digestion
Infant massage classes are becoming standard in massage schools. Portland, OR facilities such as OHSU and East West College offer infant massage classes, resulting in many benefits for infants, including improved sleep, self-calming, and digestion. Research also shows that massage can be an effective way to encourage premature babies to gain weight.

East West College is offering two upcoming workshops on infant and toddler massage; visit our workshops page to view our ongoing education calendar.

Boosts Immune Function in Women with Breast Cancer. A study published in the July 2004 issue of The Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that women with breast cancer who received three, 30-minute massages for five weeks had higher counts of immune cells.

Decreases Asthma Symptoms in Children. An University of Miami study of young asthma sufferers found improved pulmonary function following massage.

Increases Grip in Carpel Tunnel Patients. Carpel tunnel symptoms including weakened grip can be relieved through massage, according to a June 2003 study in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

Treats Low Back Pain. The American College of Physicians now lists massage as a recommended treatment for low back pain.

Releases Stress and Improves Mood. A 2010 study found that participants’ bloodstreams had lower levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and arginine-vassopressin, following a 45-minute Swedish massage.

Promotes muscle recovery after exercise by increasing mitochondria production and reducing inflammation.

To learn more, we encourage you to sign up for a massage class or two. Our massage therapy training program is research-based, and combines Eastern and Western ways of knowing. If you enjoy learning about the multiple ways that massage can heal, it’s a good sign that you would make a great massage therapist.