Massage and HIV

Massage and HIV

The healing touch of massage works quickly to tame the severity of depression experienced by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients, according to a recent study conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

More than 50 patients were divided into three groups: Those who were given Swedish massages twice weekly for an hour, a group who was touched with slight pressure for similar timeframes but given no massages and a third control group who received no treatments. All of the study participants were medically stable, and about 40 percent were taking antidepressants.

Massage relieved depression in HIV patients significantly at week 4, and that trend continued to the end of the study, compared to light touch or no intervention at all. Hopefully, scientists will determine what constitutes an “optimal dose” of massage to counteract the emotions that contribute to depression soon.

Suggestions for your practice

1. Network with medical professionals if you’d like to build up a practice that treats chronically ill patients.

2. If massage can do wonders to heal the emotions HIV patients deal with every day, how can it help clients with less severe health or emotional issues?


Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Melissa Wood, ND