Evidence exists to suggest that massage therapy may have positive effects for promoting in-patient well-being, as well as out-patient recovery, though the status of the research is currently inconclusive 1.
It is important to note is that the reported studies analyzing in-patient, postoperative recovery found that both patients and staff reported increased satisfaction with having massage therapists on site during the healing process. Postoperative massage was found to reduce pain and increase well-being for inpatients, and also to reduce fatigue, stress/anxiety, nausea, and depressive symptoms during out-patient recovery.
1 Bauer, B.A., Cutshall, S.M., Wentworth, L.J., Engen, D., Messner, P.K., Wood, C.M., Brekke, K.M., Kelly, R.F., AND T.M. Sundt III. 2010. “Effect of Massage Therapy on Pain, Anxiety, and Tension after Cardiac Surgery: A Randomized Study; Cassileth, B., and A. Vickers. 2004. “Massage therapy for symptom control: Outcome study at a major cancer center.” J Pain Symptom Manage 28(3): 244-49; Dion, Liza, Rodgers, Nancy, Cutshall, Susanne M., Cordes, Mary Ellen, Bauer, Brent, Cassivi, Stephen D., and Stephen Cha. 2011. “Effect of massage on pain management for thoracic surgery patients.” International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (4)2: 2-6; Rodfers, Dion L., Cutshall, S.M., Cordes, M.E., Bauer, B., Cassivi, S.D. and S. Cha. 2011. “Effect of Massage on Pain Management for Thoracic Surgery Patients.” International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 4(2):2-6.