Massage therapy is the most popular type of session requested by spa-goers, and many massage therapists at spas are trained to provide additional types of sessions to guests.

New research shows two weeks of spa therapy, including mud packs and mineral-water baths, resulted in improvements in knee osteoarthritis.

Those results included diminished pain and stiffness and improved quality of life.

The participants were randomly assigned to either a spa therapy group or a control group.

People in the spa-therapy group had mud packs applied on both knees for 20 minutes, at an initial temperature of 113 degrees Fahrenheit. They also soaked in bicarbonate-sulfate mineral bath water at a temperature of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. These spa applications occurred daily for a total of 12 days during a two-week period.

Results of the study revealed a statistically significant reduction in spontaneous pain among subjects in the spa-therapy group when compared to baseline numbers.

A full research report on this study will be published in the September 2010 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. The research originally ran in the December 2009 issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

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