Posts Tagged ‘massage’

Sore Muscles?

Monday, March 19th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Committed exercisers have long touted massage as an effective restorative for tired muscles following a tough workout. Now, science is catching up. A U.S.-Canadian team of researchers have identified the possible mechanisms by which massage therapy works. On March 10, 2012, Nathan Seppa of ScienceNews reported:

Researchers put study subjects through an exercise session that challenged their quadriceps (front thigh) muscles. Then one thigh of each subject underwent a ten-minute massage, but the other thigh did not. Muscle biopsies of the thighs were taken immediately after the massage and again two and one-half hours later.

The first biopsies showed that muscles in the massaged thighs — but not in the unmassaged thighs — had decreased levels of a potentially harmful inflammatory protein named necrosis factor-alpha. In the massaged legs, two kinds of helpful enzymes (called kinases) were seen to be activated.

In the later biopsies, massaged muscles revealed lowered levels of another inflammatory protein, interleukin-6, and higher levels of the compound PGC1-alpha, which has roles in muscle fiber maintenance and cell metabolism. The massaged muscles also showed signs of the preparatory stages for growth of mitochondria, the cells’ energy factories. In short, enjoying a massage after performing demanding physical exercise may accelerate healing, boost tissue repair and discourage inflammation.

Share