Saturday, June 23, 2007

Massage Therapy Research Centers

Massage Therapy Research Organizations That Promote Massage Therapy
© Sylvia Carlson

What's going on in the research world of massage therapy? Check out these massage therapy centers and organizations for the latest research.

In Canada, The Canadian Touch Research Center (CTRC) conducts, supports and collaborates on research aimed at pain relief, pain prevention and improved quality of life. The CTRC’s clinical research includes:

  • Physical and physiological (flbromyalgia, muscular performance, prevention of work accidents, chronic muscular pain, etc.).
  • Psychological (impact of massage on stress, professional depletion, bodily perception, behavior problems, etc.).
  • Human relations (palliative care, premature babies, etc.).

One of the leading research institutes on touch therapy is the The Touch Research Institute.

They have conducted over 100 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy and the numerous beneficial effects on our health and well-being. The Touch Research Institute was established in 1992 by its Director Dr. Tiffany Field at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Some of the more significant research findings from The Touch Research Institute on the positive effects of massage therapy include:

  • enhanced growth in preterm infants,
  • diminished pain particularly for musculoskeletal problems,
  • decreased autoimmune problems for individuals with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or asthma,
  • enhanced immunity, and most notably,
  • decreased stress hormones.

One of the major government funded research programs in the United States is the The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They focus on a variety of complimentary and alternative health modalities, including massage and other bodywork practices and how these effect the body and the mind. These studies can help us understand how specific techniques work on the body and can help to create more standardized techniques that can be proven to help with a particular health condition.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health has recently funded the following massage and bodywork research studies:

  • Effect of Massage on Chronic Low Back Pain
  • A Model for the Mechanism of Action of Massage
  • An Investigation of Jin Shin Treatment after Stroke
  • Craniosacral Therapy in Migraine Feasibility Study
  • Effects of Massage on Immune System of Preterm Infants
  • Massage Benefits in HIV+ Children: Mechanisms of Action
  • Massaging Preterm Infants Enhances Growth
  • Neuro-Hormonal Effects of Massage Therapy
  • Reiki and Physiological Consequences of Acute Stress
  • Therapeutic Massage for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The Massage Therapy Foundation is another organization that helps to advance the dissemination of information and knowledge about massage therapy through the funding of scientific research and education. They have an extensive Massage Therapy Research database that is free. You just have to register to gain access.

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