Without a doubt, after a punishing workout at the gym, the experience can be wonderful of having an experienced masseur give you a great healing massage. But there’s always been debate about it. Many scientists always felt that a massage was nothing more than a fun bit of pain relief – that it didn’t actually do anything useful.
Athletes on the other hand always challenged that view. They have always said that massages are able to help with inflammation. They also feel that it helps blood flow and muscle tightness.
But these ideas really weren’t grounded in any kind of research. Both were heartfelt opinions, was all. New research though seems to have a way to break the impasse. They’ve found out what exactly goes on in the muscles when a healing massage takes place.
They found their answers by putting people through an experiment. The made test subjects go and exercise themselves to exhaustion. After that, they would take a kind of biopsy from the leg muscles of these exhauted people. They would make incisions and draw out muscle tissue to analyze. If you’re wondering what’s test subject on earth would be willing to do such a crazy thing, they did manage to find a handful of volunteers.
They only took those muscle samples from one leg. On the other leg, they did a healing massage. After the massage, they took muscle samples from the massaged leg too. What they found was quite an eye-opener.
What they found was that when you give a person a healing massage right after they get out of the gym, they make the body produce a small quantity of the chemicals called cytokines. These are the chemicals that produce muscle inflammation.
But there is more that massage does. It makes your cell mitochondria work harder. If you remember your biology lesson from school, every cell has parts called the mitochondria. These are what produce energy for the cell. When massage stimulates the mitochondria, there is more energy and quicker refueling.