If you want to reduce muscle tightness, ease inflammation, and improve blood flow massage therapy after extensive exercise can reduce pain and help muscles recover. Plus it feels very good. Athletes, athletic coaches and trainers, and health professionals have contended for a long time that massage therapy can ease inflammation, improve blood flow, and reduce muscle tightness. Researchers have found out what happens to people’s muscles when a massage therapist works on them.
The researchers found eleven young male volunteers who they required to exercise to exhaustion. Plus they had to have five incisions made in their legs so they could obtain muscle tissue for analysis. Prior to the participants exercising they biopsied one leg of each subject. The next step was they had them exercise on a stationary bicycle for more than an hour until they couldn’t do anymore. They then massaged one thigh for 10 minutes, leaving the other thigh to recover on its own. They then biopsied the thigh muscle in each leg again. The next step was to allow another two-and-a-half hours of rest and than to perform the third biopsy to track the process of muscle injury and repair.
The researchers screened the tissue taken from the massaged and unmassaged legs to compare their repair processes, and to determine what difference massage would make.
They found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. The senior author, Dr. Mark A. Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said that massage works quite differently from Nsaids and other anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation and pain but may actually retard healing. He said. “With massage, you can have your cake and eat it too—massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery.” Call 952-562-5200 to find out more about our classes on Sports Massage and Massage for Athletes.
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