Massage Effective When Combating Depression

Massage May Help Treatment-Resistant Depression

Courtesy of Family Practice News

Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Reunette W. Harris Professor at Emory University, Atlanta, states that massage and exercise can help those suffering from depression.

Massage Improves Mood

“Massage can effectively improve mood for individuals with depression. In a study of HIV-positive individuals with major depressive disorder and on stable medication, those who received weekly massage had a 33% decrease in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. The response rate of 40% for those receiving massage also was significantly higher than those receiving light touch or those who did not receive treatment.”

“Recently completed unpublished work by Dr. Rapaport and his colleagues involving patients with generalized anxiety disorder also showed significantly greater improvement on a self-rating scale for anxiety for those receiving twice-weekly Swedish massage therapy, compared with those receiving light touch.”

“Our patients – their symptoms aren’t just what we see on the monitors – they deal with quality of life, they deal with functioning,” said Dr. Rapaport, “so there are many things that we as clinicians need to look at. The key is this: There’s a slowly increasing but limited data set for [treatment-resistant depression]. We need to find the right treatments for the right subjects. “