Investigators recently set out to evaluate the effects of traditional Japanese massage therapy on various symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

The research was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

The subjects were 10 patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. The intervention comprised a 30-minute session of traditional Japanese massage in conjunction with standard conventional medication. The abstract did not describe the exact strokes and techniques used in the sessions.

The outcome measures were: gait speed in the 20-m walk test (10-m walk and return) for gait disturbance, angular range of shoulder joint motion for frozen shoulder, and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for assessing the severity of each of various symptoms (hypophonia, shoulder stiffness, muscle pain, heaviness or lassitude of a body part, and fatigue), as determined before and after the massage session, according to the abstract.

The results showed:

• Patients with gait disturbance showed improved gait speed

• Patients with frozen shoulder showed improved range of motion of the shoulder joint; and

• VAS scores for assessing the severity of other subjective symptoms were improved.

“These results suggest that traditional Japanese massage therapy used in combination with medication is effective for alleviating various symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s Disease and may contribute to enhancing their health-related quality of life,” the researchers noted. “Larger studies with a control group are required to verify these findings.”

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