Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, studied role of massage therapy following surgery.

First, the details.

  • 58 patients undergoing cardiovascular surgical procedures (coronary artery bypass grafting and/or valvular repair or replacement) were assigned to a treatment group between 2 to 5 days after surgery.
    • 20-minute session of massage therapy
    • Control group that received standard care and a 20-minute quiet time
  • Linear analogue self-assessment scores for pain, anxiety, tension, and satisfaction were measured.

And, the results.

  • Statistically and clinically significant decreases in pain, anxiety, and tension scores were observed with massage vs standard care.
  • Patient feedback was positive.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “These results suggest that massage may be an important therapy to consider for inclusion in the management of postoperative recovery of cardiovascular surgical patients.”

This study was first posted in 2007 on the May Clinic website. Now, it’s published.

Others have reported positive results, as discussed here.

4/1/10 20:24 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.