Benefits of Hand and Foot Massage | Mary Atkinson

Benefits of Hand and Foot Massage

If you’ve enjoyed a hand massage and/or foot massage then you know that it can be a truly relaxing experience. Indeed, many people are surprised at the benefits of this simple, non-invasive and adaptable therapy. Published research backs this up. 

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Feedback from  Hand and Foot Massage book has been wonderfully positive from people all around the world – both adults and children. And so I decided to take a look at some of the research studies into the effect of short hand and foot massages in different situations.

Research into Benefits of Hand and Foot Massage

These four studies support the anecdotal evidence from students, friends and colleagues. (Please click on the headings to get more information of the individual studies and references).

Hand and Foot Massage Provide Consolation

Receiving soothing massages for 8 weeks after the death of a loved one can provide much-needed consolation and help diminish feelings of loneliness, according to this study. “Massage activates touch receptors which then release oxytocin, a hormone known for its positive effects on well-being and relaxation,” explains Dr Cronfalk, who conducted the research with colleagues from the Karolinska Institutet.

Hand and Foot Massage for Pain Relief

This study focused on hand and foot massage as an intervention in post-operative pain. The conclusion was that foot and hand massage appears to be an effective, inexpensive, low-risk, flexible and easily applied strategy for postoperative pain management.

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Foot Massage in Critical Care

Foot massage was introduced as a relaxation strategy in the stressful environment of critical care. Critically ill patients in intensive care were offered a soothing five-minute foot massage. A significant decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and respirations was observed during the foot massage intervention.

Hand Massage for Nursing Home Residents

Hand massage can bring comfort and encourage communication between caregivers and residents in a nursing home. This study looks at how the valuable role that hand massage can play as part of residents’ care.

Mary and Takiko working

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