12.06.2010

Just 20 Minutes of Massage Helps Cancer Patients

Good news for those battling cancer themselves or those who have loved ones fighting cancer: Just 20 minutes of leg massage can reduce stress and anxiety, and boost the immune system, according to new research.

Published in the Journal of Anesthesia, researchers had 15
healthy volunteers rest on a bed for 20 minutes on the first day, and three days later the subjects received a standardized massage of the legs for 20 minutes. Twenty-nine cancer patients also received the same standardized massage of the legs.

The researchers in Japan found that stress and anxiety were reduced in both the control and cancer-patient groups. However, in the cancer patients, leg massage "significantly decreased" scores for both stress and anxiety. Researchers hypothesize that this reduction in stress improves immunity with an increase in the release of antimicrobial peptides, according to an article on the research in Massage Magazine.

And a better, stronger immune system means patients can better fight cancer. Another reason why massage isn't just a splurge -- it's a health necessity!