Massage Therapy Helps Improve Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

A recent study conducted at the Center for Integrative Medicine, Tsukuba University of Technology in Japan, has found that massage therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

The study tested patients diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, aged  from 55 to 85 years, who were administed half hour sessions of traditional japanese massage. The symptoms measured included abnormal gait, frozen shoulder, muscle pain, hypophonia (soft speech due to dysfunction in the vocal muscles), heaviness/lassitude of body part, and fatigue.

A 20 metre walking test was administered, along with shoulder angularity tests and a visual analogue scale employed to judge subjective symptoms, such as pain. The results showed an improvement in shoulder flexibility, a reduction in pain, and an improvement in the walking gait of patients. All patients participated in the study in consultation with a neuropathologist, and combined the treatment with conventional pharmaceutical drug treatment.

While the researchers concede a larger sample group (including control participants) is required to verify these initial findings, the study's results are intriguing. To read more about this study, click here.