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Massage Therapy for Stress Management: Implications for Nursing Practice

Labrique-Walusis, Françoise; Keister, Kathy J.; Russell, Anne C.

doi: 10.1097/NOR.0b013e3181e517c6
Article

Unresolved stress has been shown to have numerous adverse effects on the body. A review of the literature has revealed 2 major themes: (1) research that argues that massage has a direct relationship with positive health outcomes and (2) research that stresses that although there are little or no measurable physiological changes that occur from massage, patients’ perceptions of stress and anxiety were significantly reduced. The simple act of touch-focused care, even a simple 5-min hand or foot massage, can be useful in lowering a patient's perceived level of stress. Further research is necessary on the benefits and risks of implementing massage therapy in the hospital setting.

Françoise Labrique-Walusis, RN, BSN, Clinical Nurse, Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH.

Kathy J. Keister, PhD, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor, Wright State University – Miami Valley, College of Nursing and Health, Dayton, OH.

Anne C. Russell, PhD, RN, CNS, Assistant Professor, Wright State University – Miami Valley, College of Nursing and Health, Dayton, OH.

The authors have disclosed that they have no financial interests to any commercial company related to this educational activity.

For 11 additional continuing nursing education articles on complementary medicine therapies topics, go to nursingcenter.com/ce.

© 2010 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses