Which place for massage in ICU?


  • Pierre Maffei Service de Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation, Hôpital de La Conception, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille (APHM)




intensive care unit, ICU, critical care unit, massage therapist, massage


Resuscitation (ICU) is one of the most recent specialties of medicine. In contrast, massage is an ancient care technique performed since the dawn of time in the West and in the East, on subjects suffering from pain, stress, fatigue or joint or muscle discomfort. The intensive care massage can be conceived as a "therapeutic" treatment performed by professionals trained in massage techniques (masseur-physiotherapist, physiotherapist, massage therapist). However it can also be considered at the "hygienic" level (well-being, comfort, relaxation) performed by other caregivers, relatives or family. In scientific journals and articles, massage is integrated into Complementaries and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Despite low levels of evidence, it appears from these works that massage would have beneficial effects on resuscitation patients (decreased postoperative pain, improved well-being, relaxation effect, reduced stress and dyspnea, increased blood flow and quality of sleep). This review provides a chronological overview of all data concerning the use of massage in the different specialties of surgical and medical resuscitation (cardio-thoracic, vascular, neurological, oncological and intensive care). Resuscitation services are evolving which may allow a change in the care of the patient towards a greater involvement of the families, including in the use of massage in intensive care as is not only the case in some countries but also in some pediatric intensive care and neonatology.




How to Cite

Maffei, P. (2020). Which place for massage in ICU?. Médecine Intensive Réanimation, 29(3), 229–236. https://doi.org/10.37051/mir-00024