Anorexia nervosa symptoms are reduced by massage therapy

Eat Disord. Winter 2001;9(4):289-99. doi: 10.1080/106402601753454868.


Nineteen women (M age = 26) diagnosed with anorexia nervosa were given standard treatment alone or standard treatment plus massage therapy twice per week for five weeks. The massage group reported lower stress and anxiety levels and had lower cortisol (stress) hormone levels following massage. Over the five-week treatment period, they also reported decreases in body dissatisfaction on the Eating Disorder Inventory and showed increased dopamine and norepinephrine levels. These findings support a previous study on the benefits of massage therapy for eating disorders.