Massage Therapy for Anxiety

It is not uncommon for people who suffer from anxiety to use complementary and integrative approaches to manage symptoms and improve their well-being.

It is not uncommon for people who suffer from anxiety to use complementary and integrative approaches to manage symptoms and improve their well-being.

The RMT Education Project is an initiative to promote the benefits of massage therapy to an international audience, here I have to put together a list of research papers relevant to anxiety.

Massage Can be a Source of Safety, Comfort and Relief

  • There is emerging research indicating that massage therapy can improve health related quality of life for people with anxiety. A recent pilot study five sessions of massage therapy was shown to improve the symptoms of anxiety (Rapaport et al. 2016)
  • A biopsychosocial model of massage therapy helps put into context the interconnected and multidirectional interaction between: physiology, thoughts, emotions, behaviors, culture, and beliefs. 

More to Explore

Field, T. (2016). Massage therapy research review. Complement Ther Clin Pract. (OPEN ACCESS)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27502797

Mącznik, A.K., Schneiders, A.G., Athens, J., Sullivan, S.J. (2017). Does Acupressure Hit the Mark? A Three-Arm Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupressure for Pain and Anxiety Relief in Athletes With Acute Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries. Clin J Sport Med.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28653963

Moraska, A., Pollini, R.A., Boulanger, K., Brooks, M.Z., Teitlebaum, L. (2010). Physiological adjustments to stress measures following massage therapy: a review of the literature. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (OPEN ACCESS)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18955340

Moyer, C.A. (2008). Affective massage therapy. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. (OPEN ACCESS)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21589715/ 

Moyer, C.A., Rounds, J., Hannum, J.W. A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychol Bull. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14717648

Rapaport, M.H., Schettler, P., Larson, E.R., ... Kinkead, B. (2016). Acute Swedish Massage Monotherapy Successfully Remediates Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Proof-of-Concept, Randomized Controlled Study. J Clin Psychiatry.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27464321/

Sherman, K.J., Ludman, E.J., Cook, A.J., ... Cherkin, D.C. (2010). Effectiveness of therapeutic massage for generalized anxiety disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Depress Anxiety. (OPEN ACCESS)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20186971

Stein, M.B., Craske, M.G. (2017). Treating Anxiety in 2017: Optimizing Care to Improve Outcomes. JAMA.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28679009