Research: FIELD and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 40


FIELD and colleagues, Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33101 USA researched the application of massage therapy for burn injuries.



28 adult patients with burns were randomly assigned, prior to debridement, to either a massage therapy group or standard treatment control group.


State anxiety and cortisol levels decreased, behaviour rating of state, activity, vocalisations and anxiety improved following the massage therapy sessions on the first and last days of treatment. Longer-term effects were also significantly improved for the massage therapy group, including decreases in depression and anger and decreased pain, according to the McGill Pain Questionnaire, Present Pain Intensity Scale and Visual Analogue Scale.


These data suggest that debridement sessions were less painful following the massage therapy because of reduced anxiety and that the clinical course was enhanced as a result of a reduction in pain, anger, and depression. The underlying mechanisms for the reduction of pain and anxiety are as yet unknown.


Field T et al. Burn injuries benefit from massage therapy. 19(3): 241-4 May-Jun 1998.

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