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Are you aware that congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect? It is reported that each year in the U.S. alone, more than 35,000 babies are born with these types of heart problems. For many newborns, some of these may be immediately repairable. However, a number of heart problems are more successfully treated when the child is a bit older. Another issue with pediatric heart defects is more than one surgery may be required to fix the problem.

Older children especially, experience extreme anxiety when faced with the prospect of a series of operations. Of course this reaction is perfectly understandable! A concern among health professionals has been that the extreme apprehension can impede the healing process, which is so vital for any patient.

Recently, researchers at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center studied whether providing 30-minute sessions of massage therapy to children would reduce their need for opioids and benzodiazepines to address postsurgical pain and anxiety. Sixty randomly selected pediatric cardiology patients ranging in age from 6 to 19 years of age, took part in the study. PR Newswire outlines the the study and its findings.

One group received standard of care along with two to three sessions of massage therapy each week. The second group received standard care plus three 30-minute reading sessions during their time in the hospital. It was discovered that the young patients who received massage therapy were able to manage with less benzodiazepines in the first five post-operative days compared to the group who was read to. Researchers believe that this study provides sound proof that, “non-traditional forms of pain control may be useful in children undergoing heart surgery.”

Interested in a fulfilling career in massage therapy?

We offer an enriching and comprehensive massage therapy program, focused on providing hands-on training, in-depth study and real world experience. LHAA is a premiere Kentucky massage training school specializing in the well-being and knowledge of our students.

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