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The healing power of touch: How massage helps people in the hospital

Being in the hospital can be stressful and scary for both kids and adults. And after a painful surgery the last thing you might think would feel good and be helpful is a massage. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to a massage therapist about how certain types of massage may help reduce stress and anxiety. And in the process, it may also help ease pain.

Various massage techniques may help ease stress for hospital patients. thinkstock.
Various massage techniques may help ease stress for hospital patients. thinkstock.com
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ROCHESTER — The benefits of massage are many. A National Institutes of Health newsletter lists some reasons you might consider getting one, including stress reduction, relief of sore muscle pain, relaxation and to ease anxiety or depression. Those symptoms are common for hospital patients.

Nancy Rodgers, a Mayo Clinic massage therapist, says massage can be restorative for patients in the hospital — whether they just had surgery, delivered a baby or are fighting cancer.

"It's a big trust factor for some of the patients to say, 'you can touch me now,'" says Rodgers. "I've had patients say that they're scared to have us give them a massage, because they think it's always a deep tissue massage and it will hurt. But this is totally different that what you might have had outside of the hospital."

In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks with Rodgers about a type of massage designed for hospital patients.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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MORE HEALTH FUSION:
A dog's sense of smell has helped to find missing people, detect drugs at airports and find the tiniest morsel of food dropped from a toddler's highchair. A new study shows that dogs may also be able to sniff out when you're stressed out.

Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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