In recent years, medicine has used technology and pharmacology to relieve conditions such as pain, anxiety and insomnia that were once treated with massage. However, interest in massage has grown with the move to more holistic health. This review examines the physiological and psychological effects of slow-stroke back massage on relaxation in older people. All studies reviewed using slow-stroke back massage showed statistically significant improvements on physiological and/or psychological indicators of relaxation.
Source: J Clin Nurs. 2010 Apr;19(7-8):917-26.