Massage is known to reduce anxiety or pain and to improve local circulation [1-5]. Massage can easily be provided anywhere without any specific apparatus. Therefore, massage is frequently used as a complementary and an alternative therapy everywhere in various occasions. Recently, there are growing number of stressors in the surrounding environment of schoolchildren which can induce psychosomatic disorders or behavioral problems, and stress coping strategy is a great issue of an educational site. Massage can be used as one of stress coping tools at schools, however, effects or application criteria of massage is not determined precisely.
Profile of mood states (POMS) is designed to measure a person's affective states, with scores of six subscales, and is thought to be a useful tool for estimating moods repeatedly and has been a popular research tool among psychologists . A visual analogue scale (VAS) is also an effective tool to assess subjective momentary feeling, which varies continuously and cannot easily be directly measured [7-9].
Numerous studies have indicated that a spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) is a powerful tool for evaluating autonomic nervous functions non-invasively [10-16]. Baroreflex sensitivity as well as blood pressure is also considered to be related with autonomic nervous function or mental state and is known to decrease under stressed condition [17,18].
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is designed to provide an objective assessment of some of the major personality characteristics that affect personal and social adjustment [19,20]. Since massage is a kind of social contact, we thought there might be some correlations between effects of foot-massage and personality factors assessed by MMPI.
Then, we studied effects of foot-massage on mood and autonomic nervous system in highly stressed students using POMS, and VAS for mood estimation, and HRV, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), and baroreflex sensitivity for an evaluation of autonomic nervous system. Each person has an own personal space which would vary dependent on a situation and a person in contact, as well as on his/her personality characteristic. There could be some individual differences in the response pattern to foot-massage, which would be obscured by analyzing the data from individuals with different personalities together. Therefore, we classified the subjects according to their personality assessed by MMPI, and analyzed the autonomic and mood data before and after the massage in relation to subjectâ€™s personality as well as the condition (massage or control).
Numerous studies have demonstrated that autonomic nervous function is modulated by various factors such as a physical stimulus [21,22], and a mental load [13,14]. To minimize direct physical effects of touch, pressure sensation, or pain caused by the massage, we excluded physiological data during foot-massage from the analysis, and analyzed the data before and after foot-massage.
Thirty minutes data after the massage were divided into 6 five-minute blocks and analyzed. Consequently, the analyzing procedure would allow us to identify immediate, and late effects induced by foot-massage avoiding the contamination of direct physical effects induced by the massage.
Citation: Sakuragi (2014) Effects of Foot-Massage on Mood and Autonomic Nervous System and the Interaction with Personality. Int J Sch Cog Psychol 1:112. doi: 10.4172/ijscp.1000112