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Int J Neurosci. 2004 Jan;114(1):31-44.

Massage therapy of moderate and light pressure and vibrator effects on EEG and heart rate.

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University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.


Three types of commonly used massage therapy techniques were assessed in a sample of 36 healthy adults, randomly assigned to: (1) moderate massage, (2) light massage, or (3) vibratory stimulation group (n = 12 per group). Changes in anxiety and stress were assessed, and EEG and EKG were recorded. Anxiety scores decreased for all groups, but the moderate pressure massage group reported the greatest decrease in stress. The moderate massage group also experienced a decrease in heart rate and EEG changes including an increase in delta and a decrease in alpha and beta activity, suggesting a relaxation response. Finally, this group showed increased positive affect, as indicated by a shift toward left frontal EEG activation. The light massage group showed increased arousal, as indicated by decreased delta and increased deta activity and increased heart rate. The vibratory stimulation group also showed increased arousal, as indicated by increased heart rate and increased theta, alpha, and beta activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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