Foot and Hand Massage for Pain Management

scarlson By scarlson, 23rd May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Health Clubs & Spas>Massage

Massage therapy research shows that foot and hand massage can help to relieve pain.

Foot and Hand Massage for Pain Relief

You might think of a massage as a luxury only for the rich who frequent spas and upscale health centres. However, for quite a few people, massage is actually a way to manage and deal with their pain. In a survey by The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, pain was reported as the most common reason people utilized alternative forms of heath care, including massage.

Foot and Hand Massage Research

A recent study published in Pain Management Nursing, June, 2004, showed how a 20 minute foot and hand massage helped to significantly reduce pain the day after surgery. The study looked at 18 subjects, 20 years or older, who were recovering from a variety of surgeries including: gastrointestinal, gynecological, urological, head, neck or plastic surgery. The authors of the study demonstrated that foot and hand massage is a very effective and inexpensive way to help people manage pain, even following surgery.

How Does Foot and Hand Massage Decrease Pain?

It is well known that massage can relieve tension in your muscles, and it is frequently utilized as a way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. So how does foot and hand massage decrease pain?

In 1962, Ron Melzack and Patrick Wall proposed the gate control theory of pain in order to explain how pain works. In essence, they suggested that when you rub an area that is hurting, you are simply preventing the pain message to be sent to the brain. The pain is “gated,” so to speak, by a more pleasant experience of massage. Massage acts like an analgesic and inhibits those pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. It is also thought that massage helps the body to release naturally produced chemicals or painkillers such as opioids or endorphins.

Something to think about the next time you or someone you know is in pain!

© Copyright, Sylvia Carlson 2006. Reproduction without permission prohibited. Previously published by


Foot Massage, Hand Massage, Massage, Massage Therapy, Pain Management, Pain Relief, Treat Pain

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author avatar Denise O
24th Sep 2012 (#)

I have had only 1 (full) foot massage once and it was the best ever. Nice read. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Diann Messer
24th Sep 2012 (#)

Lovely idea! I always enjoy a good hand and/or foot massage by my hubby. He's not a masseuse, but it still helps relax muscles and relieve pain! Good article!

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