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Int J Neurosci. 2009;119(5):630-8. doi: 10.1080/00207450802329605.

Moderate pressure massage elicits a parasympathetic nervous system response.

Author information

1
Touch Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA. mdiego@med.miami.edu

Abstract

Twenty healthy adults were randomly assigned to a moderate pressure or a light pressure massage therapy group, and EKGs were recorded during a 3-min baseline, during the 15-min massage period and during a 3-min postmassage period. EKG data were then used to derive the high frequency (HF), low frequency (LF) components of heart rate variability and the low to high frequency ratio (LF/HF) as noninvasive markers of autonomic nervous system activity. The participants who received the moderate pressure massage exhibited a parasympathetic nervous system response characterized by an increase in HF, suggesting increased vagal efferent activity and a decrease in the LF/HF ratio, suggesting a shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic activity that peaked during the first half of the massage period. On the other hand, those who received the light pressure massage exhibited a sympathetic nervous system response characterized by decreased HF and increased LF/HF.

PMID:
19283590
DOI:
10.1080/00207450802329605
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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