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Massage Therapy & Imagery Improve Quality of Life at End of Life (Doh)

05 Jul

Researchers from the University of Washington’s, School of Public Health and Community Medicine reviewed the literature for evidence that massage therapy and mind-body therapies improve quality of life for seriously ill patients at the end of life.  

A systematic review of randomized, controlled trials of massage and mind-body therapies yielded 27 clinical trials testing massage or mind-body interventions. Of these, 26 showed significant improvements in symptoms such as anxiety, emotional distress, comfort, nausea and pain. However, results were often inconsistent across studies, and there were variations in methodology, so it was difficult to judge the clinical significance of the results.

The review concludes that use of massage and mind-body therapies at the end of life is warranted on a case-by-case basis, but because of the limitations in study design and the small sample sizes, the value of CAM for end of life care was not established.

Citation: Lafferty WE, Downey L, McCarty RL, Standish LJ, Patrick DL.  Evaluating CAM treatment at the end of life: a review of clinical trials for massage and meditation. Complement Ther Med. 2006 Jun;14 (2): pages 100-12. Epub 2006 Mar 29. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award