A Randomized Cross-Over Study

Effect of Hand and Foot Massage Therapy on Psychological Factors and EEG Activity in Elderly People Requiring Long-Term Care

Massage therapy is widely used as a complementary therapy in the elderly. Here, we investigate the effect of hand and foot massage therapy on psychological factors and electroencephalographic (EEG) activity in elderly people requiring long-term care. We included 12 elderly people requiring long-term care, who were randomly divided into two groups (A and B). Group A received hand massage and group B received foot massage, both for 15 min each. After 1 week, group A received foot massage and group B received hand massage, both for 15 min each. We assessed emotions and mood states with a Likert scale after each massage and resting-state EEG activity was measured before and after each massage. Our results showed that both hand and foot massage led to a high degree of pleasant, relaxed, and refreshed feelings. Moreover, resting-state alpha activity significantly increased in the left insular cortex after hand massage (p < 0.05), and in the right and left posterior cingulate cortex after foot massage (p < 0.05). This study suggests that hand and foot massage therapy modulate psychological factors and EEG activity in elderly people requiring long-term care.