New Touch Research Institute at University of Miami Study Finds Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Benefit From Massage Therapy
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New Touch Research Institute at University of Miami Study Finds Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Benefit From Massage Therapy

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - April 29, 2013 // PRNewswire // - Massage Envy, the pioneer and national leader of professional, convenient and affordable massage and spa services, in conjunction with the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, announced today the results of a new study that concludes moderate pressure massage therapy can decrease pain for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Additionally, the study found that rheumatoid arthritis patients experienced perceived greater grip strength and greater range of motion in their wrists and large upper joints, including elbows and shoulders, after receiving moderate pressure massage therapy for one month. The study's overview and results were published in the 2013 19 edition of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal.

"Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes joints to become swollen, tender and stiff. While there is no cure to date, we do know now that moderate pressure massage therapy can help relieve pain and improve the quality of life for patients," said C.G. Funk , vice president of industry relations and product development for Massage Envy. "The findings will be utilized to better educate our therapists, members, guests and the public on how to best incorporate massage into an overall wellness plan."

Led by Tiffany Field , Ph.D., of the Touch Research Institute, the study examined the effects of moderate pressure versus light pressure massage therapy on 42 adults with rheumatoid arthritis in the upper limbs. The adults were randomly assigned to a moderate pressure or a light pressure massage therapy group. A therapist massaged the affected arm and shoulder once a week for a four-week period and also taught the participant self-massage to be done once daily. By the end of the one-month period, results of the study demonstrated the moderate pressure massage group had less pain, increased grip strength, increased wrist flexion, increased elbow flexion and increased shoulder abduction. The study also found that participants in both groups experienced a reduction in depressed mood and anxiety.

"As patients with rheumatoid arthritis work with their doctors to determine the best treatment option, we recommend discussing routine massage therapy given the positive effects found in our study," said Field. "In addition to physical activity, such as yoga, moderate pressure massage therapy along with self-massage techniques can help manage the pain and stress that occurs from various forms of arthritis."

Over the last eight years, Massage Envy has donated more than $150,000 to support research related to the benefits of massage therapy. Today, there are more than 865 Massage Envy locations, making it the largest system of franchised massage and spa clinics in the industry. The company has created 21,000 new massage therapists positions since 2002 and plans to add 1,500 new positions annually through 2018.

In 2011, Massage Envy formed a partnership with the Arthritis Foundation to raise awareness and funds to support the organization's mission to prevent, control and cure arthritis. In total, Massage Envy has raised more than $1 million in two, one-day Healing Hands for Arthritis events. The brand is also as a national sponsor of the Arthritis Foundation's 250 Arthritis Walk® events around the country, where local Massage Envy owners share information about the benefits of massage therapy, provide chair massages and support the Arthritis Foundation at their respective local walks. Massage Envy and the Arthritis Foundation share a common understanding about the devastating effects of the disease on the body and the potential for massage therapy to relieve and control certain symptoms.

Open seven days a week, each Massage Envy offers convenient times and locations to fit any guest's needs. Visit Massage Envy on Facebook at or on Twitter at For healthy living and wellness tips, visit Massage Envy's blog at Additional information, including a list of all clinics, can be found at

About Massage Envy

Massage Envy, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the leading provider of therapeutic massage in the United States. The national franchise is dedicated to providing professional and affordable therapeutic massage and spa services to members and guests with busy lifestyles at convenient times and locations. Founded in 2002, Massage Envy has over 865 locations in 47 states. In addition, the average unit volume for a Massage Envy is $1.2 million. The company was recently ranked #81 in Entrepreneur's 2013 Franchise 500 and #29 in its Fastest Growing Franchise rankings. Massage Envy is a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and was named a Military Friendly Franchise in 2012. For more information, visit


Amanda Rich
Fish Consulting

SOURCE Massage Envy



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