The Effects of Massage Therapy in Conjunction with Exercise Training on Weight

AWARD TYPE: Past Research Grants

Mark Blegen, PhD, FACSM
St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN

Obesity rates are at epidemic levels in the United States, and novel techniques are needed to combat the issue. Sometimes overweight individuals discontinue exercise programs and fail to reach their weight loss goals. The present study builds on previous research; suggesting weekly massage therapy sessions, as a reward, promote weight management. This research will investigate the intersection of massage therapy with structured and monitored exercise to promote weight management in an overweight population. Participants will be randomly assigned into one of four groups: weekly massage therapy only, weekly massage therapy and structured exercise, structured exercise only, and control. Measures such as bodyweight, body fat percentage, status of emotional eating, salivary cortisol (a physical measurement of stress levels), and psychological measures of stress, anxiety, and mood will be evaluated.

Use of Therapeutic Massage to Treat Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)

AWARD TYPE: Past Research Grants

Joan E. Cunningham, PhD
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Funded by a grant from the Palmer Foundation

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common debilitating side effect of many standard drugs used in cancer treatment. Research supporting the use of effective treatments for CIPN is lacking and the underlying physiologic mechanisms of CIPN are poorly understood. This one-year feasibility study will test the effects of therapeutic massage in relieving symptoms associated with CIPN. This work will provide the groundwork for clinical trials focused on the physiological processes involved in CIPN, and establish the feasibility of using massage to treat the symptoms of this condition. This non-randomized controlled study will be conducted with 15-18 patients with cancer. The protocol includes 12 therapeutic massage treatments in a 5-week period. Patient changes in CIPN signs, symptoms, pain and quality of life will be measured. Statistical methods will include standard summary statistics, multivariate generalized linear models and correlations between changes in outcome measures.