An engineering approach for quantitative analysis of the lengthwise strokes in massage therapies

Hansong Zeng, Timothy A. Butterfield, Sudha Agarwal, Furqan Haq, Thomas Best, Yi Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Massage therapies are widely used for improving and restoring the function of human tissues. It is generally accepted that such therapies promote human health and well-being by several possible mechanisms, including increase in blood flow and parasympathetic activity, release of relaxation hormones, and inhibition of muscle tension, neuromuscular excitability, and stress hormones. Nonetheless, most of the purported beneficial/adverse effects of massage are based on anecdotal experiences, providing little insight on its effectiveness or the mechanisms underlying its usefulness. Furthermore, most studies to date have not quantitatively demonstrated the efficacy of massage on human health. This might be due to the lack of appropriate tools necessary for the application of quantitatively controlled loading and for the evaluation of the subsequent responses. To address this issue, we developed a device that applies compression in lengthwise strokes to the soft tissues of the New Zealand white rabbit, thereby mimicking the rubbing and effleurage techniques of massage. This device permits control of the magnitude and frequency of mechanical load applied to the rabbit's hind limb for various durations. The measurement of tissue compliance and the viscoelastic properties as a function of loading parameters was also demonstrated. Findings of this study suggest that this device offers a quantitative analysis of the applied loads on the tissue to determine an optimal range of loading conditions required for the safe and effective use of massage therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041003
JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Massage
Stroke
Tissue
Hormones
Chemical analysis
Equipment and Supplies
Health
Rabbits
Muscle Tonus
Muscle
Compaction
Blood
Compliance
Extremities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this

An engineering approach for quantitative analysis of the lengthwise strokes in massage therapies. / Zeng, Hansong; Butterfield, Timothy A.; Agarwal, Sudha; Haq, Furqan; Best, Thomas; Zhao, Yi.

In: Journal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME, Vol. 2, No. 4, 041003, 01.12.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zeng, Hansong ; Butterfield, Timothy A. ; Agarwal, Sudha ; Haq, Furqan ; Best, Thomas ; Zhao, Yi. / An engineering approach for quantitative analysis of the lengthwise strokes in massage therapies. In: Journal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME. 2008 ; Vol. 2, No. 4.
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