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Could chair massage replace the psychotherapist’s couch?
Participants in studies who received just one massage were more likely to experience a reduction in state anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate, than those that were in the control group. Cortisol levels, immediate assessment of pain, and negative mood showed no significant improvements. Multiple applications of massage had greater benefits in reducing pain for the long term.
The most notable finding of this research is that a series of massages brought about reductions of trait anxiety and depression and provided benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.
The World Health Organization states that in Western cultures, depression has the distinction of placing a greater burden on society than any other disease. In the USA, more than 21 million people suffer from depression. Given the number of sufferers of anxiety and depression and considering the fact that massage may be just as beneficial as psychotherapy in treating these disorders, chair massage can have a powerful role in improving people’s lives.
The researchers found that the length of the massage had no significant impact on its effectiveness. So there is really no difference in terms of the impact of massage on anxiety and depression between a 15 minute chair massage or a one hour long table massage.
However, getting multiple or frequent massages did seem to be very important. Because the shorter time frames used for chair massage mean a lower per treatment cost, chair massage can be an affordable solution to those suffering depression and anxiety.
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