Success stories from using massage for rehabilitation after a stroke are currently largely anecdotal, but research does clearly support the use of massage for isolated issues that can arise after a stroke. Additionally, one active study in Sweden is specifically evaluating the use of touch massage for stroke patients. Researchers hypothesize the findings will support post-stroke massage therapy for increasing sensorimotor function, improving fine motor skills, decreasing anxiety and physiological stress, and improving overall health and quality of life.
Some specific benefits that may be derived from massage after stroke include:
- Increased serotonin levels
- Improved circulation
- Regenerated muscle function
- Regained memory
- Reduced stress and anxiety
All massage after a stroke should be done with client activity and sensitivity in mind, in collaboration with a client’s other health care providers. With the right practitioner, integrating massage therapy with other aftercare following stroke can accelerate the healing process and encourage full mind-body wellness for survivors.
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