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Massage Aha!

Professional therapeutic massage therapy in Kansas City, MO by Aaron Harris, BCTMB

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Foot Massage for Surgical Pain and Anxiety


A recent study has shown a reduction in pain intensity for patients who received regular foot massage after undergoing surgery.

Foot Massage
A foot massage provides relaxation and a reduction in anxiety.

Patients and doctors are rightly concerned about the over-prescription of opioids for pain relief. While there are some circumstances in which a powerful pain medication is appropriate, researchers are always looking for alternatives. 

Massage therapy and other integrative health care techniques, such as reflexology,  are beginning to gain ground as real alternatives for people managing pain and anxiety.

Foot Massage Study

The study was conducted in a general surgery clinic in a university hospital. It was a randomized control trial looking to gauge the effectiveness of foot massage on postoperative (surgical) pain and anxiety in patients who had undergone a laparascopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal).

The patient sample included 167 patients between May 2016 and March 2018. Eighty-five patients received foot massage, the remaining 82 did not.

Study Results

The study showed that the pain intensity of patients who received the massage was less than in the control group at 30, 40, 90, and 120 minutes after the massage.

This lead to a significant reduction in the need for pain medication for the patients who received massage.

A significant decrease in anxiety levels was also observed.

I have worked with many clients following surgical procedures and can help you recover while also helping you reduce the amount of pain medication that you need to be comfortable.


Koras K., Karabulut N., “The effect of foot massage on postoperative pain and anxiety levels in laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery: a randomized controlled experimental study.” J Perianesth Nurs. 2019 Jun;34(3):551-558

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