Massage therapy may enhance immunity in preterm infants

November 13, 2012
Massage therapy may enhance immunity in preterm infants
For stable, preterm infants, daily massage therapy is positively associated with higher natural killer cell cytotoxicity and weight gain, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Pediatrics.

(HealthDay)—For stable, preterm infants, daily massage therapy (MT) is positively associated with higher natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and weight gain, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Pediatrics.

In an effort to determine whether MT enhances the immune system by increasing the proportion of NK cells, Jocelyn Y. Ang, M.D., of the Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, and colleagues conducted a randomized placebo-controlled trial involving 58 stable, who received MT and 62 infants who received a sham control therapy in the unit (NICU). Therapy was provided five days a week until discharge (maximum of four weeks). Immunological evaluations were conducted, and weight, number of infections, and length of stay were assessed.

The researchers found no difference in the absolute , but NK cytotoxicity was higher in the massage group, particularly for those who received five or more consecutive days of intervention versus control. Infants in the MT group were heavier at the end of the study and, compared with controls, had increased daily weight gain.

"We found a positive association between MT and NK cytotoxicity as well as MT and weight gain in premature infants. MT appears to be safe and may improve the overall outcome of premature infants in the NICU," the authors write. "This randomized, placebo-controlled study suggests the beneficial effect of MT on premature infants and underscores the need for additional larger studies."

Explore further: Study identifies risk factors associated with death of extremely low birth weight infants after NICU

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Mom's voice may improve the health of premature babies

March 8, 2012

When babies are born prematurely, they are thrust into a hospital environment that while highly successful at saving their lives, is not exactly the same as the mother's womb where ideal development occurs. The Neonatal Intensive ...

Cycled lighting improves neonates' behavior, outcomes

June 11, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Cycled lighting (CL) during neonatal care reduces an infant's fussing and crying behavior at 5 and 11 weeks' corrected age and correlates with a trend toward higher motor activity during daytime and improved ...

Recommended for you

Youth dance classes score low in physical activity

May 18, 2015

For parents who send their kids to dance classes to get some exercise, a new study from researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests most youth dance classes provide only limited amounts ...

Roller coaster rides trigger pediatric stroke

December 11, 2014

Riding a couple roller coasters at an amusement park appears to have triggered an unusual stroke in a 4-year-old boy, according to a report in the journal Pediatric Neurology.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.