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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 2826905, 8 pages
Research Article

Integrative Evaluation of Automated Massage Combined with Thermotherapy: Physical, Physiological, and Psychological Viewpoints

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chonnam National University, 50 Daehak-ro, Yeosu-si 59626, Republic of Korea
2Berlin Institute of Technology, Machine Learning Group, Marchstraße 23, 10587 Berlin, Germany
3Yonsei Fraunhofer IZFP Medical Device Lab, Yonsei University, Medical Industry Techo Tower 205, Wonju 220-710, Republic of Korea
4Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems, Maria-Reiche-Straße 2, 01109 Dresden, Germany
5Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University, 17 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 133-791, Republic of Korea
6Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yonsei University, Medical Industry Techno Tower 307, Wonju 220-710, Republic of Korea

Received 7 July 2016; Revised 18 September 2016; Accepted 28 September 2016

Academic Editor: Ashraf S. Gorgey

Copyright © 2016 Do-Won Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Various types of massages are reported to relieve stress, pain, and anxiety which are beneficial for rehabilitation; however, more comprehensive studies are needed to understand the mechanism of massage therapy. In this study, we investigated the effect of massage therapy, alone or in combination with infrared heating, on 3 different aspects: physical, physiological, and psychological. Twenty-eight healthy university students were subjected to 3 different treatment conditions on separate days, one condition per day: control, massage only, or massage with infrared heating. Physical (trunk extension [TE]; maximum power of erector spinae), physiological (heart-rate variability [HRV]; electroencephalogram [EEG]), and psychological (state-trait anxiety inventory [STAI]; visual analogue scale [VAS]) measurements were evaluated and recorded before and after each treatment condition. The results showed that massage therapy, especially when combined with infrared heating, significantly improved physical functioning, increased parasympathetic response, and decreased psychological stress and anxiety. In the current study, we observed that massage therapy contributes to various physical, physiological, and psychological changes, where the effect increases with thermotherapy.