Holey, Liz A., Dixon, John and Selfe, James
An Exploratory Thermographic Investigation of the Effects of Connective Tissue Massage on Autonomic Function.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 34
Objective The purpose of this study was to measure effects of connective tissue massage (CTM) on the autonomic nervous system using thermography and physiological measurements. Methods A repeated-measures design was used. The setting was a university laboratory. Skin temperature at the site of massage, blood pressure, heart rate, and dorsal foot temperature were measured in 8 healthy participants before CTM, immediately after, and at 15-minute intervals for 1 hour. Results The effect of CTM on skin temperature was statistically significant, P = .011. Post hoc pairwise comparisons revealed that the 15-, 30-, 45-, and 60-minute data all differed significantly from the pre-CTM data (all P < .05) and also from the immediately post-CTM data (all P < .05). For diastolic blood pressure, the main analysis of variance showed a statistical significance at P = .062. For other variables, there was no evidence for an effect. Conclusions Evidence was seen of some effects of CTM on autonomic function. This is information that will increase our knowledge of how CTM affects the autonomic nervous system.