Massage as a non-drug therapy has a promising potential to not only help athletes with weary muscles, but also people with chronic conditions related to inflammation, like muscular dystrophy or arthritis. These results are based on a study by Justin Crane, a doctoral student at the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University.
Although massage is already an accepted form of therapy to relieve pain and muscle strain, researchers found that massage can also trigger the biochemical sensors, which are responsible in sending signals to muscle cells that can reduce inflammation.
Massage sends a signal to muscles to create more mitochondria, which is the the cell’s power center and has a vital role in healing.
Crane said that nobody has ever tried to look inside the human muscle and find out what is going on during a massage, including the biochemical effects.
He added that their study showed how the muscles senses when they are being stretched and reduces the cells’ inflammatory response. As a result, massage could be helpful to hasten recovery from injury.
Crane further stated that researchers in McMaster were the first to test the effect of manual therapy such as massage, with the use of muscle biopsy to prove that massage can reduce inflammation, which is a primary factor in numerous chronic diseases.
This particular research came out in the Science Translational Medicine’s February 2012 issue which has involved the participation of eleven men in their twenties as subjects of their study.