Changes in coagulase-negative staphylococci count during massage practice using massage oil containing essential oil of Melaleuca quinquenervia

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Using 3% Melaleuca quinquenervia ct 1,8-cineole solution as a massage lubricant, we examined whether it is possible to practice massage more hygienically. Fifteen healthy male volunteer students were recruited for two massage experiments two weeks apart. In the first experiment, the lubricant was Simmondsia chinensis oil alone (as a control), and in the second session, it contained a 3% M. quinquenervia solution. The therapist conducted a 15 second antiseptic hand washing and antiseptic hand rubbing following the guidelines before every massage. Bacterial samples were taken from the therapist's palms and from the participants' skin before and after each massage and the number of colony forming units of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) was counted. CNS were not found on the therapist's palms before any massage session. In both groups, CNS counts on the participants' skin after massage sessions increased significantly, compared with those before massage sessions; however, CNS counts after massage sessions in the M. quinquenervia solution group were significantly lower than those in the control group. It appears that the M. quinquenervia essential oil inhibited the growth of CNS on the skin, but CNS were transmitted to the therapist's hands during massage sessions in spite of using the M. quinquenervia oil. Therapists should conduct an antiseptic handwashing and antiseptic hand rubbing before and after massage practice to improve hand hygiene.
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  • The International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics is destined for individuals and establishments that have an interest in the bioactivity of aromatic plants, as well as the potential applications of such activities in human and animal treatment modalities. The Journal publishes a range of pertinent subject matter including in vitro and in vivo research, clinical trials, pilot studies, adverse reaction and drug interaction reports and scientifically based discussion relating to therapeutic applications.
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