Hands-On Pain Relief

Massages don’t just feel great. They can also provide real health benefits.

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:

  • It fights the blues. A rubdown cut depression, pain, anxiety, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms in half for cancer patients, according to one study.
  • 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.
  • It soothes an aching head. Chronic tension headache sufferers had fewer episodes after neck and shoulder massages.

Get more tips on building your healthy lifestyle when you sign up for our weekly newsletters.