Summary The study aimed to compare the effects of facial massage with that of foot massage on sleep induction and vital signs of healthy adults and to test a methodology that could be used by a lone researcher in such a study. A randomised
within-group crossover pilot study of six healthy female volunteers was conducted.
The interventions were a 20 min foot and a 20 min facial massage using peach-kernel base oil Prunus persica. A drop in systolic blood pressure of 8.5mmHg was recorded immediately after facial massage compared to that of 1mmHg recorded after foot
massage. Both treatments were equally effective in reducing subjective levels of alertness during the interventions, with face massage marginally better at producing subjective sleepiness.
A lone researcher using these methods would be able
objectively to measure vital signs before and after interventions, but not during; and would be able subjectively to measure sleep induction in non-sleep-laboratory contexts.
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