New research shows massage therapy reduced depression in pregnant women, and also reduced the incidence of massaged women’s babies being born prematurely.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Touch Research Institutes, where pioneering research about massage has been conducted since 1992.

Pregnant women diagnosed with major depression were given 12 weeks of massage, twice per week, by their significant other. A control group did not receive massage, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

The massage-therapy group versus the control group not only had reduced depression by the end of the massage-therapy period, they also had reduced depression and cortisol levels during the postpartum period.

The massaged women’s newborns were also less likely to be born prematurely and low birthweight, pubmed noted, and they had lower cortisol levels and performed better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation and motor scales.

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