A Mayo Clinic study conducted over a period of five months showed so much of a reduction in post-surgical pain, they hired a full-time massage therapist to be available for patients after heart surgery. Approximately half of the 58 patients who participated in this original pilot study received massage.
On a 10-point scale of pain, those who received massage had a mean post-surgical pain score of less than one, while those who did not receive massage had an average score of three. In addition to the massage therapy, the Mayo Clinic has been looking into the advantages of other complementary therapies, including ambient music and guided imagery, both of which have shown to have a positive effect of patients recovering from surgery.
How Massage Therapy Affects Post-Surgical Pain?
The Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Ann Arbor and Indianapolis Healthcare Systems conducted an even larger study involving 605 veterans, male and female, over a period of two years who had undergone major surgery (thoracic or abdominal). They were assigned to one of three groups. Approximately one-third received routine care, as well as a daily 20-minute effleurage back massage each evening for up to five days. A second group got individualized attention, but no massage; and the remaining group got only standard routine care.
The purpose of the study was to see how massage and/or individualized support affected recovery after major surgery and help reduce post-surgical pain. Compared to the groups who received no massage, those who did receive massage experienced a faster rate of decreased pain intensity, pain unpleasantness and a reduction in anxiety in the first four days after surgery.
SOURCE: Intergrative Healthcare
This information is brought to you by Dr. XiPing Zhou, M.D.O.M., L.Ac. Dr. Zhou is the founder & president of East West Healing Arts Institute Massage School, Dr. Zhou’s Acupuncture & Pain Management Clinic, Madison Family Wellness Community Clinic, The Herbal Palace, & China Delight Tours. Visit any of these websites to learn about Chinese medicine and culture.