Thursday, September 20, 2012

Measuring the healing power of touch

Many people agree that getting a massage makes them feel good. Researchers at Emory University are now quantifying the biological benefits of frequent massage, with the aim of developing potential therapies.

"We really don't know the precise biology of massage right now, but what I can tell you is this: Even in normal individuals, we're able to decrease the production of stress hormones," says Mark Hyman Rapaport, chair of Emory's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. "What we're able to demonstrate now is that repeated massage has an added effect." Watch the video, above to learn more.

The research is funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.

"The only way we're going to discern what goes on with complementary or alternative treatments," Rapaport says, "is if an impartial funding agency like the federal government is involved in investigating whether there are true biological, beneficial effects associated with these atypical interventions. There may be many different ways to help individuals."

Frequent massage boosts biological benefits
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