Research: Hernandez-Reif and collea

Listed in Issue 62


Hernandez-Reif and colleagues, Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33101, USA. investigated massage therapy for relief of pre-menstrual tension.



Twenty-four women meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder were randomly assigned to a massage therapy or a relaxation therapy group.


The massage group showed decreases in anxiety, depressed mood and pain immediately after the first and last massage sessions. The longer term (5 week) effects of massage therapy included a reduction in pain and water retention and overall menstrual distress. However, no long-term changes were observed in the massaged group’s activity level or mood. Future studies might examine the effects of a longer massage therapy program on these symptoms.


the authors suggest that massage therapy may be an effective adjunct therapy for treating severe premenstrual symptoms.


Hernandez-Reif M. et al. Premenstrual symptoms are relieved by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology 21(1): 9-15. Mar 2000.

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