Effects of back massage on psychological status and salivary biomarkers Effects of back massage on psychological status and salivary biomarkers (Emerging theories of host defense: the 10th meeting Hirosaki International Forum of Medical Science: Communication Center Hirosaki University School of Medicine: Hirosaki on November 21-22, 2006)

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Massage therapy promotes psychosocial relaxation and reduce stress. In addition, this therapy has beenreported to improve immune function. Although evaluation of psychosocial status has been performed with subjectivepsychological tests such as State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), subjective psychological tests are of limited valueif the subjects fail to report reliably. Salivary biomarkers have been recently suggested as useful objective indicatorsfor assessing psychosocial status. To determine whether salivary biomarkers are useful objective indices for assessingeff ects of back massage on psychological status in 25 young healthy female volunteers, we measured heart rate andsalivary biomarkers( α-amylase, cortisol and chromogranin-A) and assessed STAI score before and after back massage.Back massage significantly reduced heart rate from 73.4±11.8 to 69.8±11.2 and STAI from 41.0±6.0 to 32.3±4.9. Incontrast salivary chromogranin-A signifi cantly increased from 2.93±2.21 to 5.29±5.46 pmol/mg protein whilst salivaryα-amylase and cortisol did not change. Therefore, salivary biomarkers tested may not indicate changes in psychologicalrelaxation following back massage. Massage therapy has been reported to not only reduce psychosocial stress butalso enhance immune functions in cancer patients. In the present study, massage therapy significantly increasedchromogranin-A release. As several reports clearly show that chromogranin-A has antibacterial and antifungalactivities, back massage may increase host defense with salivary chromogranin-A release against oral microbial invasion.


  • Hirosaki medical journal

    Hirosaki medical journal 59(-), S188-192, 2007

    Hirosaki University

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