Atlanta's Top Massage Therapy Institute, Atlanta School of Massage, and Emory University Study Effects of Neuromuscular Therapy in Patients With Parkinson's Disease

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Massage therapy institute's study on Parkinson's disease published in Movement Disorders medical journal.

Controlled pilot study of the effects of neuromuscular therapy in patients with Parkinson's disease

Atlanta's top massage therapy institute, Atlanta School of Massage (, is proud to announce that the results of our joint research study with Emory University, "Controlled pilot study of the effects of neuromuscular therapy in patients with Parkinson's disease," have been published in Movement Disorders, Volume 21, Issue 12, December 2006, Pages: 2127-2133.

Laurie Craig, Director of Education at Atlanta School of Massage served as the Principal Investigator for the study. Dr. Jorge Juncos, Emory University School of Medicine, Neurology at Wesley Woods, was the scientific advisor. The study was funded by Emory University's Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

The findings of the study suggest that neuromuscular therapy (NMT), a form of massage therapy that focuses on soft tissue manipulation to address the underlying causes of pain, can improve motor and selected non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease and that this effect is more durable for the motor symptoms. Parkinson's motor symptoms include things such as tremors, rigidity and fatigue. This important research demonstrates the dedication that Atlanta School of Massage has to finding new ways to improve the quality of life through the use of therapeutic massage. Further research is needed to understand more about these effects, but in the future this could mean that patients may be able to rely more on massage therapy to help minimize the impact of Parkinson's disease on their bodies.

Laurie Craig and Dr. Jorge Juncos are collaborating on a larger multi-center grant to further document the positive impact of NMT on the motor subscale of the United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) for patients living with Parkinson's disease.

Atlanta School of Massage would like to recognize the other members of this incredible team who made this research possible. Atlanta School of Massage graduate, Anna Svircev, was the research associate; the study served as her thesis for a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University. Rick Garbowski, Massage Therapy Program Director, Atlanta School of Massage developed the standardized massage therapy protocol. Janie Richardson, was the massage therapist for the study and Dawn Cone was the blinded test administrator; both are graduates of the massage therapy institute. Dr. Michael Haber, Emory University School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics, was the statistician for the project.

The research was funded under NIH; Grant Number: 5 P30AT00609-03, 1 RO-1 AT00612-03. The abstract and information for obtaining copies of the article can be found at

About the Massage Therapy Institute: Atlanta School of Massage

The Atlanta School of Massage, a pioneer and international leader among massage therapy schools is celebrating 25 successful years in massage therapy training. In keeping with their pioneering tradition, they continue to grow their long history of accomplishments:

  • First Massage Therapy school to open in the state of Georgia
  • First Massage Therapy school in Georgia to be Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT)
  • Named a 2004 School of Distinction by the ACCSCT
  • First Massage Therapy school in Georgia to be approved by the US Department of Education to offer Title IV funding
  • First to partner with Emory University on research into the beneficial effects of neuromuscular therapy on patients with Parkinson's disease
  • The first Massage Therapy school in Georgia to open a skin care division, Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics

Atlanta School of Massage is located at 2 Dunwoody Park, Atlanta Georgia 30338. For more information, call 1-888-276-6277 or visit For more information on our skin care division, Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics, one of the premier esthetician schools, visit


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Debbie Hellmann
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