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Massage and Heat effects on Autonomic Nervous System

Posted on 21 August, 2015 at 10:15



Yonsei Med J. 2011 Nov 1; 52(6): 982–989.


Published online 2011 Oct 20. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2011.52.6.982



PMCID: PMC3220246


The Effects of Heat and Massage Application on Autonomic Nervous System



Young-Hee Lee, Bit Na Ri Park, and Sung Hoon Kim corresponding author


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The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of heat and massage application on autonomic nervous system.



Materials and Methods


One hundred thirty-nine subjects volunteered and completed this study. Heat and massage was daily applied for 40 minutes,

5 days a week for 2 weeks. Primary-dependent measures included heart rate variability, sympathetic skin response, and

serum cortisol and norepinephrine levels.





Serum cortisol levels were significantly decreased at 2 weeks compared to baseline (p=0.003). Plasma norepinephrine levels

at 4 weeks were significantly decreased compared to baseline (p=0.010). Heart rate, using the power spectra, increased

significantly after 2 weeks compared to baseline. Of autonomic nerve conduction measures, latency was significantly

increased at 2 and 4 weeks compared to baseline (p=0.023, 0.012), and amplitude was significantly decreased at 4 weeks

compared to baseline (p=0.008). There were no serious adverse events such as burns or other major complications.





The results of this study suggest that heat and massage applications provide relaxation to the autonomic nervous system

without serious adverse effects.

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