Prescription 2015: Hand MassageSeptember 1, 2015 Written by JP [Font too small?]
The finest natural therapies combine several important elements. Ideally, they’re free or low in cost and don’t require specialized equipment. They should be evidence-based and easy to perform. And, whenever possible, it helps if a remedy produces results consistently and quickly. A daily hand massage provides all of these attributes and many others.
Typically, when you have a massage you ask the masseuse to focus on areas that are painful and/or tense. Much like other forms of body work, hand massages can address localized symptoms. However, a growing body of research indicates that this simple practice can also minimize discomfort throughout the body. What’s more, symptomatic improvement isn’t exclusive to body aches. It’s now evident that hand massage benefits psychological health as well.
The proof for my assertions comes directly from the medical literature. Study after study reveals that hand massage and hand reflexology decrease pain duration and severity under numerous circumstances ranging from chronic pain in seniors to burn and surgical recovery. In many experiments, as little as five minutes of hand massage has, likewise, been shown to lessen anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance. This not only improves quality of life, it also results in reductions in medication use.
I have a few tips to help ensure the best possible results when adopting a hand massage routine. While five minutes may be enough for some, up to twenty minutes can optimize outcomes. Adding an aromatherapeutic component to the massage can further boost mood and relieve pain. Lavender essential oil has a good track record in this department. Using argan oil as a “carrier” or base oil for the lavender adds moisturizing and skin toning properties to the mixture. About 10 drops of lavender oil for every ounce of argan oil is a good starting point. Lastly, you can certainly massage your own hands if desired or necessary. But, getting and giving a massage to a loved one provides additional benefits such as enhanced communication and promoting feelings of intimacy.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Hand Pain Is Reduced By Massage Therapy … (link)
Study 2 – The Impact of Hand Reflexology on Pain, Anxiety and Satisfaction … (link)
Study 3 – Effect of a Brief Massage on Pain, Anxiety, & Satisfaction w/ Pain … (link)
Study 4 – Evaluation of the Preliminary Effectiveness of Hand Massage … (link)
Study 5 – Effect of Shiatsu Massage on Pain Reduction in Burn Patients … (link)
Study 6 – Aromatherapy Hand Massage for Older Adults w/ Chronic Pain … (link)
Study 7 – Effect of Foot and Hand Massage in Post-Cesarean Section Pain … (link)
Study 8 – Effect of Shiatsu Massage on Underlying Anxiety in Burn Patients … (link)
Study 9 – Effect of Hand Massage on Preoperative Anxiety in Ambulatory … (link)
Study 10 – Psychophysiological Effects of Hand Massage in Geriatric Facility … (link)
Study 11 – A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Use of Aromatherapy and Hand … (link)
Study 12 – Effects of Hand Massage on Anxiety in Patients Undergoing … (link)
Study 13 – Effects of Aroma Hand Massage on Pain, State Anxiety and Depression … (link)
Study 14 – Treatment Effects of Massage Therapy in Depressed People: A Meta- … (link)
Study 15 – Comparison of the Effect of Massage Therapy and Isometric Exercises … (link)
Study 16 – Effectiveness of Lavender Essence on Strernotomy Related Pain … (link)
Study 17 – Effect of Topical Application of Lavender Essential Oil on the Intensity … (link)
Study 18 – Effects of Aromatherapy on Sleep Quality and Anxiety of Patients … (link)
Study 19 – Does Lavender Aromatherapy Alleviate Premenstrual Emotional … (link)
Study 20 – Effects Measurement of Hand Massage by the Autonomic Activity … (link)
Study 21 – Effect of Massage Therapy on Autonomic Activity in Critically Ill … (link)
Study 22 – Effect of Dietary and/or Cosmetic Argan Oil on Postmenopausal Skin … (link)
Study 23 – Design, Characterization, and Clinical Evaluation of Argan Oil … (link)
Study 24 – Physicochemical Characteristics, Nutritional Properties, and Health … (link)
Study 25 – Effects on Couples’ Communication, Intimacy, Conflict and Quality … (link)
Aromatherapy Hand Massage (Exp. Group) Reduces Anxiety
Source: J Korean Acad Nurs. 2008 Aug;38(4):493-502. (link)
Tags: Aromatherapy, Massage, Reflexology
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health