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Pain can negatively affect a person's quality of life and impede recovery from illness or injury. Recent research compiled by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) suggests that massage can be a helpful pain management strategy for manually controlling symptoms in people suffering metastatic cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, among other illnesses, as well as post-cardiac surgery pain.
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Research1 published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that therapeutic massage at home for metastatic cancer patients can improve their overall quality of life by reducing pain and improving sleep quality. American Massage Therapy Association president Winona Bontrager, says of the study, "These findings suggest that cancer patients can also benefit from professional massage, both physically and mentally, providing the necessary comfort during advanced stages of the disease."
Research 2 published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice showed that adults with rheumatoid arthritis may feel a decrease in pain, as well as greater grip strength and range of motion in writs and large upper joins, after receiving regular moderate-pressure massages during a 4-week period. "This research demonstrates the potential value of massage therapy for the estimated 1.3 million Americans living with this chronic condition, with women outnumbering men 2.5-143. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are encouraged to speak with their health care provider about the possibility of incorporating routine massage therapy into their current treatment plan to help manage painful symptoms," says Bontrager.
Research4 published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery indicates that massage therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension, as well as enhance relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery. The American Massage Therapy Association acknowledges that cardiac surgery recovery is a very crucial time a patient must endure and this study further suggests that massage therapy can be a useful aid in making the road to recovery an easier journey.