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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


SERRANO-GOMEZ, María Eugenia et al. Effects of therapeutic massages on anxiety and stress in the pediatric population. [online]. 2018, vol.66, n.3, pp.357-363. ISSN 0120-0011.


Massages are a therapeutic strategy studied by different health professionals. Literature has reported positive effects on the physical and the emotional well-being of children.


To describe the state of the art regarding the effects of therapeutic massages on anxiety and stress relief in the pediatric population based on the available evidence.

Materials and methods:

Systematic review including experimental articles, mostly randomized clinical trials, evaluated using the PEDro scale. The databases consulted were EBSCO, Embase, ScienceDirect, PubMed, VHL and PEDro.


Seven articles were selected, including 4 randomized and 3 quasi-experimental clinical trials.


The literature reports beneficial effects of therapeutic massages on the pediatric population, including decreased cortisol levels, better adaptation of physiological responses to stressors, weight gain and better behavioral and sleep patterns. These effects are potentiated by moderate pressure, compared to massage techniques performed with light pressure.

Keywords : Child; Massage; Anxiety; Stress, Physiological; Physical Therapy Specialty (MeSH).

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