Massage Therapy increases the number of NK (natural killer cells) that are known to destroy cancer cells. The study at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine focused on the effects of massage therapy on breast cancer patients. Field concluded that massage therapy increases the number of NK cells that are known to destroy cancer cells, bolstering immune function. Once group received 20-minute massage therapy twice a week for fivc weeks, others in a control group received no massage therapy. At the end of the five-week period, blood tests indicated statistically significant 11% increase of NK cells among massage recipients.
Although dramatic in its implications, the TRI’s breast cancer research represents just one of more than 90 studies it has conducted that have determined the positive effects of massage therapy on physical functions and medical conditions. Other research has shown that massage improves sleep patterns and decreases pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress hormone (cortisol) levels in adults with fibromyalgia and decreased diastolic blood pressure, and reduces anxiety and cortisol levels in adults with hypertension. It has also been found that glucose levels of diabetic children decreased to the normal range just after one month of receiving massage.