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I never doubted the wonderful affects that massage can have on an individual. Many of you have heard me say that in our society the importance of touch is missing. When someone has surgery, many people are afraid to touch the patient for fear of increased pain. Yet there are studies that show that touch therapies can actually help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with post operative pain.
A relatively large study done with the Veterans Administration showed that patients receiving additional attention - especially those who receive massage "reported markedly less intense and less unpleasant pain and less anxiety than patients who got standard pain medication." The massage group received a 20 minute massage daily for 5 day post operatively along with standard pain medication. Other studies that found massage helping the post operative pain of patients came out of Oshners, UCLA and MAYO Clinic.
Revisiting the need for touch and human contact, one can look at the history of nursing and post operative care and will find that patients were regularly given a "back rub" following their daily bath. This practice has fallen by the wayside along with many physicians and nurses’ bedside manner.
So the next time you or a loved one is scheduled for surgery, why not enlist the help of a qualified massage therapist - the results could leave you pain free.