Massage therapy was found to produce “significant” changes in temperature in massaged areas, and in peripheral areas as well, which may suggest increased blood flow in the regions. This is according to researchers from the Neuromechanics Research Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at Auburn University, in Auburn, Alabama.

The design was a repeated-measures crossover experimental design; the independent variable was treatment condition (massage, light touch, control). The study setting was a university research laboratory, and 17 people participated, according to a report published on

Massage produced significant elevations in temperature in five regions: anterior upper chest, posterior neck, upper back, posterior right arm and middle back, the report noted.

“Massage therapy produced significant increases in temperature over time, compared to the other conditions … ” it continued. “Interestingly, the massage treatment produced significant temperature elevations in two nonmassaged areas, posterior right arm and middle back.”

The research is published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

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