Having a consumer reports massage chairs after strenuous exercises and activities undeniably feels really good. In addition, it also helps relieve pain and aids in muscle recovery. A lot of people, including healthcare professionals and athletes, bear witness to the positive effects of massage on the human body. Massaging muscles improves blood circulation, decreases muscle tension, and reduces inflammation. Unfortunately, no one knew why massage has this beneficial effect, up until recently.
What Study Found
Researchers had discovered as to what happens to the muscles when undergoing a massage session.
The experimental research required test subjects to perform exercise routines until they are exhausted. Afterward, five incisions were cut to their leg to provide muscle tissues which will be used for analysis. Despite having an invasive procedure, 11 brave young men volunteered to become the test subjects.
During the first session of the experiment, each of the test subjects’ legs which were at rest were incised and underwent biopsy. Then, during the second session, these young men were subjected to use a stationary bicycle for one hour to acquire an exhausted leg muscle tissue. The masseur then massaged one leg of each test subject while leaving the other leg to recover by itself.
After 10 minutes of the massage session, both legs which were massaged and left resting were biopsied. Leaving it for two hours and a half, both legs were again incised to further track the progress of muscle healing and repair.
Strenuous exercises damage muscle fibers, causing them to appear as if there are tears between the muscle fibers. This effect initiates an immune response that is inflammation to allow damaged tissues to repair. Next, researchers examined the tissue specimens from the massaged and unmassaged leg tissues and compared their repair progress and the differences between the two.
The researchers noticed that on the massaged legs, there was a decrease in the number of cytokines produced. Cytokines play a major role in the inflammation process. They also observed that massage stimulates the mitochondria found inside the cells which converts glucose to energy and is necessary for optimal growth and repair.
They concluded that massage suppresses the pathways of inflammation and provides an increase in energy production which helps increase the rate of muscle cell repair while adapting to the demands of strenuous exercise and activities.
This discovery is considered a breakthrough since it is the first to establish the effects of massage against inflammation caused by increased exercise. It was already proven before that massage decreases pain, but the results of this research left experts in shock since they didn’t know that massage also reduced the production of pain-related substances-cytokines.
If further research regarding this study will be done, massage will take over the conventional use of regular pain relievers to not only reduce pain but also help the body increase the rate of healing of the damaged muscle tissues all throughout the body. Therefore, if you want to heal your muscles rapidly, consider going to a professional masseur/ masseuse so that optimal recovery and healing can be observed.