Massage therapy may enhance immunity in preterm infants

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."

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cycled lighting improves neonates' behavior, outcomes

Jun 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 ...

Probiotics help extremely premature infants gain weight

May 01, 2010

Extremely low birthweight infants (ELBW) who received feedings supplemented with probiotics had better weight gain than infants who were not given the supplements, according to a randomized, controlled, double-blind study ...

Recommended for you

Unhealthy brands using Facebook to target young people

10 hours ago

World-first research by the University of Sydney reveals that junk food brands are engaging with young Facebook users to promote unhealthy foods which can contribute to obesity and lifestyle diseases.

Early intervention could boost education levels

11 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Taking steps from an early age to improve childhood education skills could raise overall population levels of academic achievement by as much as 5%, and reduce socioeconomic inequality in education by 15%, ...

User comments