This chapter is a review of representative data (not an exhaustive review) on moderate pressure massage therapy effects and potential underlying mechanisms for those effects. They include (1) weight gain in preterm infants, (2) pain reduction and potential underlying mechanisms for pain reduction following massage, (3) enhanced attention, (4) reduced depression and its EEG correlates, and (5) enhanced immune function. Moderate pressure massage is necessary for these effects which, in turn, may be mediated by increased vagal activity and reduced cortisol. The fMRI data from one study suggest that touch when combined with movement simulates findings on other rewarding pleasant touch.
- Moderate pressure massage
- Vagal activity
- Weight gain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)