Hands-On Pain Relief

Massage isn't just for aching muscles anymore. It's shown to help ease pain, anxiety, depression and even ADHD in children.

By Neena Samuel from Reader's Digest | April 2008

Saying “ouch” a lot? Schedule a massage. It feels good, of course, but it’s also an effective treatment, according to a recent study of 605 people. Those who got a daily 20-minute massage (in addition to medication) after surgery reported less pain a day earlier than those who just got drugs, or who got drugs plus 20 minutes of one-on-one conversation. Other benefits:


  • 1.

    It fights the blues.

    A rubdown cut depression, pain, anxiety, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms in half for cancer patients, according to one study.

  • 2.

    It calms kids.

    In a small study of children with ADHD, those who got a 20-minute massage twice a week for a month behaved better in school.

  • 3.

    It soothes an aching head.

    Chronic tension headache sufferers had fewer episodes after neck and shoulder massages.