The Connection Between Massage Therapy and Reduced Stress in Nursing

June 26, 2019

How Massage Therapy Can Help Alleviate Stress in Nurses

Nurses, as well as other medical and mental health professionals, are gravitating toward incorporating massage therapy into their regular health and wellness regimens to reduce stress.

Unresolved stress has been shown to have numerous adverse effects on the body. Massage has a direct relationship with positive health outcomes, and, although there are little or no measurable physiological changes that occur from massage, patients' perceptions of stress and anxiety can be significantly reduced because of it. 

The simple act of touch-focused care, even a simple 5-min hand or foot massage, can be useful in lowering a patient's perceived level of stress.

Even a single session can provide benefits. 

In the pilot studies conducted by researchers at Emory University in Georgia, which were also peer-reviewed and published, subjects experienced an increase in oxytocin levels, a decrease in vasopressin levels and even a small decrease in cortisol. 

The study went on, touting that twice-weekly massage for five weeks caused a more profound decreases in stress hormones, oxytocin increases and decreases in vasopressin.

For nurses, massage therapy is one approach that may provide a reduction of work-related afflictions including headaches, shoulder tension, insomnia, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain.