Receiving a massage lowers anxiety—and now, research shows that massage therapists benefit from giving massage as well.

“This study shows that massage therapists themselves may benefit from giving a therapeutic massage by experiencing less subjective anxiety following the giving of a massage,” the investigators noted.

The design of this study, which was conducted at an accredited massage school located in Dallas, Texas, was a randomized, controlled, blinded study, according to an abstract published on

“The study comprised healthy female and male final-term massage students between ages 18 and 65 years,” the abstract noted.

The 22 participants were randomized into two groups: the experimental group gave a one-hour Swedish massage to a massage client, and the control group sat in a room doing normal, daily activities. “Both of these activities were a normal part of the daily routine for these massage students,” the abstract noted.

The baseline characteristics were comparable between the two groups. Primary outcomes included:

• A change in the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) scores pre- and postparticipation. A statistically significant advantage for the massage group was found relative to the control group in subjective anxiety.

• There were no significant differences between the groups with regard to total DASS score, subjective depressive symptoms and subjective stress-related symptoms.

• There were no adverse events reported by any participant.

This trial was undertaken by investigators with the Department of Primary Care & Department of Continuing Professional Development, at University of Oxford, in Oxford, United Kingdom.

The research was published this week in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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Research Shows Massage Therapy Relaxes the Autonomic Nervous System