The Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine recently partnered with Massage Envy, a national massage and spa-services company, to conduct research into massage therapy.

The study found that massage therapy reduces pain and anxiety, improves sleep and increases grip strength for various hand-pain and hand arthritis conditions.

“Common hand pain is often associated with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and tennis elbow, which can greatly limit usage of ones’ hands in everyday activities, from opening a door to typing on a computer,” said Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of TRI. “We have concluded from our new research that routine massage therapy can provide relief for hand pain, as well as help those suffering to live a happier and healthier life.”

The study examined the effects of massage on hand pain and grip strength on 46 adults. The study also measured anxiety and depression levels, as well as sleep disturbances related to hand pain, according to a press release.

“While massage therapy has been documented to reduce pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia, this study confirms its effects on pain associated with other conditions of the hands,” said C.G. Funk, vice president of industry relations and product development for Massage Envy. “Now that we have this knowledge, we can better educate both our members and the public on how they can use massage therapy to relieve hand pain and prevent it from interfering with daily life.”

Over the last five years, Massage Envy has donated more than $85,000 to support research related to the benefits of massage therapy.

The study’s overview and results were published in a recent edition of the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

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Massage Reduces Hand Arthritis Pain and Increases Grip Strength