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Maria Claudia Marks, CMT
Massage and Exercise
Massages For Healing, LLC
. http://www.massagesforhealing.com/

Massage and Exercise

I was recently fascinated by an article concerning new research that was published in Science Transitional Medicine. The article detailed an experiment looking into the positive effects that massage has on tired, inflamed and torn muscles.

The research was performed on eleven volunteer young males, using biopsies in various steps to analyze muscle tissue. The first biopsy was taken from the participants when their leg was in repose. In the second step, these eleven volunteer young males participated in a grueling exercise session, vigorously riding a static bicycle for one hour until exhaustion. Following this exercise session the volunteers had one leg massaged for ten minutes, while the other leg was left to recuperate on its own. After this massage they performed another biopsy on the thigh muscle in each leg. Then they allowed the participants to rest for two and a half hours. A third biopsy followed this rest period, with the purpose of analyzing the muscular injury and recuperation.

The results showed far more cell repair and inflammation in the post workout samples. They also showed a clear difference between the massaged and unmassaged legs.

The massaged legs had 30% more PGC-1 alpha, a protein produced by a gene that helps turn muscle cell's food into energy. They also found that the massaged leg had three times less NFKB, strongly suggesting that massage may suppress inflammation that follows exercise while promoting faster healing. The study further showed that massage stimulates the mitochondria, the small electrical central system within the cells that converts glucose into energy, essential for cell reparation and the reduction of pain.

Understanding the benefits of massage for good health and the benefits of massage in helping the body's recuperation process is very well described in the experiment above. This data should provide useful information for those individuals involved in exercise and sports.

Massage not only helps to reduce inflammation and pain it also improves cell repair. It can be an important medical tool in treating stress, pain, and some injuries, without the need for medications or anti-inflammatory drugs.

For those who may not be heavily involved in sports, my recommendation is that massage will benefit your mind, body, and spirit. It is especially helpful for those who are dealing with stress related issues. The strokes of massage can also help to reduce hypertension.

Learning about how massage and other therapies can help you is essential to your overall wellbeing. Now, go get a massage.

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