Why Massage Works
Alternative Treatment for Pain
Yes, it’s heavenly to sip lemon water and relax with a nice Swedish massage at a spa. Nowadays more people are turning to massage as an alternate treatment for their pain, too. There’s nothing like a nice massage after a long workout to help ease your muscle soreness. Health professionals, massage practitioners and massage clients have vouched for massage as a way to reduce inflammation, muscle tightness and soreness and improve blood flow. But it hasn’t been until recently that they were actually able to tell us how massage helps with these issues.
Scientific Study Results on the Benefits of Massage
Comparisons of muscle fatigue recovery with and with-out massage
According to the New York Times, a study published in Science Translational Medicine explains just how massage works. To study the effects of massage on muscle tissue, they did an experiment on participants’ muscle tissue that required them to have several incisions in their leg. On the first visit, each subject had their leg biopsied at rest. At the next session, they had to exercise on a stationary bike for over an hour to the point of muscle fatigue. They massaged one of each subject’s thighs for ten minutes and left the other leg to recover without massage. They then biopsied the thigh muscles of both thighs immediately after the exercise and again two and a half hours later.
Results from study show massage reduces inflammation
The researchers were able to compare the inflammation process in the massaged versus the unmassaged leg. The New York Times states, “They found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair.” In a nutshell, they discovered that massage helps suppress inflammation and enhances cell recovery.
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs slow down healing process
According to the New York Times, Dr. Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, explained how anti-inflammatory drugs (like Aleve or Ibuprofen) may suppress pain and reduce inflammation, but they can actually slow down the healing process of your muscles. Instead of popping a pill after your workout, you can actually improve your healing while reducing your pain and inflammation with a massage.
Massage is more than relaxation it aids in healing
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, more and more people are using massage for more than just a day at the spa. About 75 percent of their survey participants said they booked a massage in the last year for medical reasons such as soreness, muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, pain relief, injury recovery and prevention or migraines. Physicians actually referred 61 percent of those surveyed for massage therapy. Now that the research is here to back up what massage professionals have known for years, doctors are referring their patients for massage as a complementary or alternative treatment for their pain.
Medical Massage Specialties will help you with Relaxation, Recovery and Recuperation
Whether you’re a chronic pain sufferer, an athlete or just getting into fitness, Medical Massage Specialties can help. Talk to a massage therapist about your needs. Call 703-686-4092 or email us. We will help get you on the road to muscle recovery faster.