Massage is often intended to cure the pain after doing exhausting activities. However, recent findings indicate that massage is more useful than just giving a sense of comfort in the body. A study in Canada shows that a person who works physically hard for 70 minutes and then after a massage experiences an increase in energy production from their muscle cells and decreases inflammation in the cell. As for the athletes, their performance can be improved after they received treatments from a sports massage therapist.
According to a research scientist, Dr. Mark Tarnopolosky, the Head of the Division of Neuromuscular and Neurometabolic Disease at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, stated that for years people receive massage “without getting a scientific foundation.”
“Our results increase the possibility of interest, just like that strenuous exercise might increase or at least, the benefits might be increased, for those who do massage after exercise,” Tarnopolsky quoted.
The results of this study were published in early February in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
In that study, 11 young men doing strenuous exercise which took 70 minutes. After resting for a while, they had their feet massaged while some others did not.
The researchers analyzed tissue samples taken from the men’s leg muscles immediately after a massage and resumed tissue retrieval after 2.5 hours after resting. The two results are then compared.
It was found that there were two significant changes in the muscles being massaged: they have decreased inflammation and increased production of mitochondria which are a source of energy for body cells.
“Mitochondria are home of energy for body cells. Increasing the number of mitochondria in the heart is a benefit of strenuous exercise, “Tarnopolsky said. At the same time, the researchers found no benefit from being massaged frequently. In addition, massage is also not useful to reduce lactic acid that builds up in muscles during exercise.
Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, stated that it’s amazing for just a 10 minutes session of massage.
These findings reveal that “with massage, athletes can get something to reduce inflammation and increase positive feelings,” said Rapaport.
This means that every athlete must receive such treatment before, in the middle, and after a match. This way, they can perform better than when they don’t receive any kind of massage. This is necessary for athletes who want to compete in big tournaments, especially for athletes who have some unique conditions regarding their muscles.