Massage therapy is increasingly used within medical settings, for patients experiencing various medical conditions.

Patients suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF) frequently experience anxiety and various forms of physical discomfort—so researchers set out to investigate whether back massage could reduce anxiety, discomfort and physical suffering in patients with CHF.

They found that back massage significantly reduced anxiety in the study population, according to a press release from Mary Ann Liebert, which published the study in its Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Among the results of this study:

• Participants’ systolic blood pressure and respiratory rates were significantly decreased after back massage

• Oxygen saturation levels showed significant increases after back massage

• Male participants revealed a more significant reduction in anxiety than the female participants

• Those with more severe heart failure and systolic blood pressure demonstrated significantly greater responses to back massage

“Effect of Back Massage Intervention on Anxiety, Comfort, and Physiologic Responses in Patients with Congestive Heart Failure” is published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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• High Blood Pressure Reduced by Massage Therapy