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Use of Massage Therapy in Hospitals Up 30 Percent

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Post time: 2009-04-27 14:25:00
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Hospitals are incorporating massage therapy programs at a growing rate; according to a new national survey. The survey shows the number of hospitals offering massage therapy has increased by more than one third in two years. The bi-annual survey is conducted by Health Forum, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association on behalf of the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA) and polls hospitals across the United States on information on programs they offer, including massage therapy.

Of the hospitals that have massage therapy programs, 71 percent indicate they offer massage therapy for patient stress management and comfort while more than two-thirds (67 percent) utilize massage therapy for pain management. Fifty-two percent say they provide massage for cancer patients and 67 percent offer massage to their staff for stress management.

According to the survey, hospitals also use massage therapy for:

Improving mobility and movement (52 percent)

Pregnant women (51 percent)

Part of physical therapy regimen (50 percent)

Hospice or end-of-life care (37 percent)

Edema (33 percent)

Infants (24 percent)

Post-operative care (25 percent)

Pre-operative care (17 percent)

The effectiveness of massage therapy in alleviating the symptoms of a number of medical conditions has been demonstrated in on-going research and clinical studies.

Research has shown that massage therapy can be effective in boosting the body’s immune system functioning[1], reducing blood pressure in stroke patients[2], easing post-operative pain[3], easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms[4], and soothing chronic back pain better than other complementary therapies[5]. Recent studies have also associated massage therapy with substantive relief of symptoms in cancer patients, such as pain, fatigue, stress, anxiety, nausea, and depression[6].

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest non-profit professional association with more than 55,000 members. The association is directed by a volunteer Board of Directors chosen through national election and encourages member participation through its 51 chapters. AMTA helps consumers and other healthcare professionals locate an AMTA professional member massage therapists via its free Find a Massage Therapist® national locater service or 1-888-THE-AMTA.


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