Massage Envy, the pioneer and national leader of affordable and convenient massage and spa services, in conjunction with the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, announced today the results of a study that concludes massage therapy reduces pain and anxiety, improves sleep and increases grip strength for various hand pain and arthritic conditions of the hand. The study’s overview and results were published in the 2011 April edition of Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal.
“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.”
Led by Tiffany Field, Ph. D. of the Touch Research Institute, 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. The subjects were divided into two different groups, including a control group that did not receive massage therapy and a massage therapy group, which received 15 minutes of massage for four consecutive weeks. The 15-minute massages consisted of moderate pressure stroking and were concentrated from the fingertip to the elbow area. Results of the study demonstrated the massage group’s levels of pain, anxiety and depression decreased more than that of the control group. Additionally, the massage group’s grip strength increased and sleep disturbances diminished.
“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 Field. “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.”
Over the last 5 years, Massage Envy has donated more than $85,000 to support research related to the benefits of massage therapy. Today, there are more than 680 Massage Envy and Massage Envy Spa locations, making it the largest system of franchised massage and spa clinics in the industry. The company also is the world’s largest employer of licensed/registered massage therapists with more than 16,000 therapists providing over 250,000 massages every week.