Current Research in Psychology and Behavioral Science
[ ISSN : 2833-0986 ]
Massage Therapy Research: A Narrative Review
This narrative review on the massage therapy literature from the years 2020 to 2023 includes 49 studies. Many of these are focused on massage reducing prenatal depression and anxiety, increasing brain maturation in preterm neonates and on reducing jaundice in full-term newborns. Pediatric massage research has been focused on cerebral palsy and adult research on arthritis pain. Studies on older adults include the reduction of anxiety and depression in victims of stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Other studies found positive effects of self-massage as well as couples’ massage that suggests that both the massager and “massagee” experience reduced stress. Surprisingly, most of the entries in the literature have been proposed protocols for studies and only one has involved potential underlying mechanisms for the positive effects of massage therapy.