Evaluating the use of gas discharge visualization to measure massage therapy outcomes

Jolie Haun, Nitin Patel, Gary Schwartz, Cheryl Ritenbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the short-term effects of massage therapy using gas discharge visualization (GDV), a computerized biophysical electrophoton capture (EPC), in tandem with traditional self-report measures to evaluate the use of GDV measurement to assess the bioenergetic whole-person effects of massage therapy. Methods: This study used a single treatment group, pre-post-repeated measures design with a sample of 23 healthy adults. This study utilized a single 50-min full-body relaxation massage with participants. GDV measurement method, an EPC, and traditional paper-based measures evaluating pain, stress, muscle tension, and well-being were used to assess intervention outcomes. Results: Significant differences were found between pre-and post-measures of well-being, pain, stress, muscle tension, and GDV parameters. Pearson correlations indicate the GDV measure is correlated with pain and stress, variables that impact the whole person. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that GDV parameters may be used to indicate significant bioenergetic change from pre-to post-massage. Findings warrant further investigation with a larger diverse sample size and control group to further explore GDV as a measure of whole-person bioenergetic effects associated with massage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • complementary therapies
  • massage
  • outcome measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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