Sunday, April 13, 2014

Massage Does Not Flush Lactic Acid From Your Muscles

Picture from our Sports Massage course in July 2013
Finally, a published paper that suggests massage does help reduce inflammation in your fatigued muscles.

Hey, didn't the title say something else? Please read on to find out how massage reduces inflammation.

Many massage therapists, physiotherapists etc will say that massage can relieve your pain, DOMs (delayed onset of muscle soreness), promotes circulation, flushes your lactic acid/ toxins from your body, relieves your joint strain etc. However, published evidence does not totally support their claims fully.

Well, Sefton and colleagues (2012) can finally set the record straight. Massage cannot push toxins from muscles to your bloodstream. It also cannot flush lactic acid from your muscles. So do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

What massage can do is it can soften your fascia (which is found all over your body covering your muscles beneath your skin) and make your tight muscles relax. It can also remove adhesions between fascia and muscle (which can restrict your movement).

Crane's study also found 30 % more of a gene that helps muscle cells build mitochondria (mitochondria turns a cell's food into energy and facilitate its repair).

Well, great news for runners, athletes etc who rely on limber joints and muscles for pain free movement to ensure you perform optimally.

This also mean that regular massage can let runners, athletes etc tolerate more and harder training since it can hasten recovery and allow them to ability to train hard again two days later.

Other research suggests that besides reducing inflammation, massage also improves immune function. This suggests it may also help chronic diseases.

For more on Sports Massage please also see this and this.

Calling all runners, athletes, patients with chronic pain, call our clinics to book your Sports Massage appointment.


Crane JD et al (2012). Massage Therapy Attenuates Inflammatory Signaling After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage. Sci Transl Med 4, 119ra13. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002882.

Rapaport MH, Schettler P et al (2012). A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of
Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals. J Altern Complement Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 March 01.

*Many thanks to Lim Ting Jun for the articles.

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