I have been providing and receiving massage therapy for over two decades. I experience the benefits personally as well as witness my clients improve performance, repair soft tissue injury, move better and experience lasting immediate pain reduction.
In a nut shell …. I know it works, my clients know it works and the referring doctors know it works! Massage is a valid, noninvasive and cost effective manual modality and the researchers and scientists have given us a study that proves the benefits of massage on a molecular level!
Recently Science News published an article written by Nathan Seppa, published March 10 th 2012 on the molecular benefits of massage. The original findings appear February 1st in Science Translational Medicine. The said articles are on a study of muscle repair by massage, led by Justin Crane a kniesiologist at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario.
The study clearly shows a reduction in inflammatory elements and an increase in muscle repair compounds after muscle massage.
Inflammation often occurs after strenuous exercise, sustained repetitive movements and various hard physical demands. Inflammation is the beginning state of repair and healing. Problems arise when there is static inflammation, complete recovery is hindered.
In the study led by Crane the participants performed hard exercise and were given muscle massage to the muscles on one leg and the other leg was not massaged. A biopsy of the muscles was performed immediately after the massage. The treated muscle tissue showed a reduction in inflammatory proteins and an increase in compounds which indicate preparation for growth and and rebuilding. The untreated tissue did not show these changes.
I am looking forward to more science that can map out why massage therapy is so effective. This will help generally to de- mystify massage , elevate massage as a valid manual therapy and perhaps someday massage will be a fully integrated clinical modality and offered and available to all as part of health care.
In health and motion,
Deanna Straub CMT