Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation

William Sunshine, Tiffany M. Field, Olga Quintino, Karen Fierro, Cynthia Kuhn, Iris Burman, Saul Schanberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Thirty adult fibromyalgia syndrome subjects were randomly assigned to a massage therapy, a transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), or a transcutaneous electrical stimulation no-current group (Sham TENS) for 30- minute treatment sessions two times per week for 5 weeks. The massage therapy subjects reported lower anxiety and depression, and their cortisol levels were lower immediately after the therapy sessions on the first and last days of the study. The TENS group showed similar changes, but only after therapy on the last day of the study. The massage therapy group improved on the dolorimeter measure of pain. They also reported less pain the last week, less stiffness and fatigue, and fewer nights of difficult sleeping. Thus, massage therapy was the most effective therapy with these fibromyalgia patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996


  • Fibromyalgia
  • Massage therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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