A research review of massage for depression has found “massage therapy is significantly associated with alleviated depressive symptoms,” its authors say.

Researchers from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, systematically investigated the treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people by incorporating data from recent studies, according to a press release on www.pubmed.gov provided by Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of massage therapy in depressed people was conducted using published studies. “We included 17 studies containing 786 persons from 246 retrieved references,” the authors noted. “Trials with other intervention[s], combined therapy, and massage on infants or pregnant women were excluded.”

They also noted that although all trials showed positive effect of massage therapy on depressed people, standardized protocols of massage therapy, various depression rating scales, and target populations in further studies are suggested

The study is running in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

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