Excellent article discussing how massage can play a vital role in the healing process of injuries sustained during exercise, sports & training. This comes at a perfect time when everyone is focused on the Olympics. Perhaps this will spur more people towards getting regular exercise. Unfortunately, that often leads to more exercise related injuries. Enjoy.
How a massage helps speed up exercise-induced injury healing unraveled
Washington, Aug 13 (ANI):
Ohio State University researchers are using animals to find out the reason behind why a massage helps speed up recovery amongst athletes following rigorous exercise and injury.
For years professional athletes have used therapeutic massages for a quicker recovery time from their sports realated injuries.
Scientists have recently discovered that immediate cyclic compression of muscles after intense exercise reduced swelling and muscle damage.
Using rabbits, the research team used one device to mimic the movements associated with a particular kind of exercise, and a second device to immediatley follow the exercise with a massaging motion on the affected muscles.
“We tried to mimic Swedish massage because anecdotally, it’s the most popular technique used by athletes,” said Thomas Best, a professor of family medicine at Ohio State University and senior author of the study.
“A review of the research in this area shows that despite the existing anecdotal evidence – we know athletes use massage all the time – researchers don’t know the mechanism of how massage improves recovery after exercise and injury,” he added.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, Swedish massage combines long strokes, kneading and friction techniques on muscles and various movements of joints.
“Our goal is to use this model to understand the biological mechanisms of massage as a guide to preclinical trials to test the effects of massage on muscle recovery after exercise. A trial in humans could look at optimal indications for massage,” he said.
What did the study show?
Interestingly, animals that had received a simulated swedish massage had improved muscle function, less swelling and inflammation than did muscles in the animals that did not receive a massage after the rigorous exercise.
After only 4 days the massaged muscles recovered an estimated 60 percent of the strength. How did this compare to the non massaged group? They only received a 14 percent of strength in muscles after resting.
That is a 4x increase.
Here is the interesting part. Upon closer examination the massaged rabbits had fewer damaged muscle fibres and virtually no sign of white blood cells. Why is this important? White blood cells would show that the body was working to repair muscle damage. The swedish massage apparently made all the difference..
As published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. (ANI)
Pro Massage Therapy Comments
It is amazing how some people still do not recognize the therapeutic benefits of massage after all these years.
Professional sports athletes have for years. But the conventional opinion is that massaging is only for relaxation. I think a big reason for that is the lack of medical studies and research on this matter. That is why a study like this excites me!
I have been a big proponent of swedish massage for years. In fact that is the exact type of massage that I offer as an introductory offer for my new clients.
So here is the offer.
Do you play:
- Are you a gymnist?
Lets try this experiment ourselves.
You do the exercise.
I’ll do the massaging.