Archive for the tag - muscle recovery

Study: How Massages Heal.

Even with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, massages are proving to be more than just romantic.

Researchers from McMaster University have concluded that a short, 10-minute massage helps reduce inflammation in muscles. According to the researchers, massage may not just help athletes and exercisers improve muscle recovery – but also help treat chronic inflammation-related conditions like muscular dystrophy or arthritis.

To conduct their study, researchers followed 11 men in their twenties. After a number of tests, the men exercised until the point of exhaustion. After resting for 10 minutes, a massage therapist applied oil to both legs – but then only massaged one leg for 10 minutes. Muscle biopsies were then done on both legs – and then repeated after 2.5 hours.

Researchers discovered that even a short 10-minute massage triggers the biochemical sensors that send inflammation-reducing signals to muscle cells. Moreover, massage causes the cells to build more mitochondria – which may also play a significant role in healing.

For the researchers, the surprise was really the dramatic effect that just 10 minutes of massage had on the muscles. According to one researcher:

I didn’t think that little bit of massage could produce that remarkable of a change, especially since the exercise was so robust… It is clearly potent.

Obviously, this study is really just a first step in determining treatments for muscle recovery and injury, but it’s yet a another reason to take some time – even if it’s just for a few minutes – to engage in a massage, even if it’s not Valentine’s Day.

P.S. Can’t hire a masseuse? Check out my Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube video to learn how to self-massage.