There are many potential benefits from receiving massage. All of the benefits listed here have been backed up by research studies, with more information below.
- Increased overall sense of wellbeing and quality of life
- Reduced pain
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced nausea
- Reduced fatigue
- Reduced stress
- Reduced symptoms of depression
- Increased sense of being able to cope with problems
- Increased amount and/or quality of sleep
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased ease of movement
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced occurrence and severity of headaches
- Improved immune function
- Increased sense of connection to one’s body
Clients with cancer often report reductions in pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and nausea, particularly while undergoing treatment. It is safe to receive massage during and after treatment for cancer, provided you are working with a massage therapist who is knowledgeable about oncology massage. Check out the Society for Oncology Massage and the American Cancer Society for more info.
A recent review of research on massage therapy notes its effectiveness on increased weight gain in preterm infants, reduced pain in a variety of syndromes, enhanced attentiveness, reduced symptoms of depression, and enhanced immune function. This review also notes that moderate pressure massage is generally more effective than light pressure massage.
For more information on research on massage therapy: