Objectives: The objective was to determine the effect of myofascial techniques on the modulation of physiologic and psychologic variables.
Design: Forty-one (41) healthy male volunteers were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group.
Interventions: The experimental group underwent 3 manual therapy modalities: suboccipital muscle technique, compression of fourth intracranial ventricle, and deep cervical fascia technique. The control group remained in a resting position for the same time period under the same environmental conditions.
Outcome measures: Temperature, heart rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) were measured before, during, and after the intervention. State and trait anxiety levels and depression level were evaluated before and after the intervention.
Results: Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a significant time x groups interaction [F = 4.7(1,40); p = 0.036] for state anxiety. There were no significant time x group interaction effects for depression [F = 0.33(1,40); p = 0.57] or trait anxiety [F = 3.76(1,40), p = 0.060]. Among physiologic parameters, a significant time x group interaction was found for systolic BP [F = 2.86(6,240); p = 0.033] and heart rate [F = 2.89(6,240); p = 0.036].
Conclusions: Psychologic modulation is observed after application of manual therapy techniques, with a decrease in state anxiety in the experimental group. Heart rate and systolic BP were modulated during the course of myofascial induction techniques. All of these effects were observed up to 20 minutes after the therapy.