nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Massage After Exercise Doesn't Help...But Feels Good, Anyway

There are things that are good for you, and things that are fun, sometimes both.  But we don't always need the former to do the latter.

People have made exaggerated claims for benefit from "therapeutic" massage.  Those people are, not surprisingly, the people we pay to do the massage.

Now, from the Exercise Physiology front, comes this study of blood flow during post-exercise massage.  The findings show that what occurs is exactly the opposite claimed by proponents of massage:  blood flow is reduced.

Why is this important?  It's been shown that muscle recovery after exercise is related to the removal of metabolic breakdown products, primarily lactic acid.  And good blood flow is needed to do that rapidly and efficiently.  So, poor blood flow = slower recovery.

That stands in contrast to what people experience subjectively from massage.  Massagee's (is that a word?) describe relaxation and relief from strain.

It may be that massage just feels good at any time, and having exercised is not relevant.

But hey, why deny yourself just because there's no therapeutic benefit.  Pleasurable things aren't always bad, are they?

Doc D

1 comment:

Lid Doug said...

I think we should make it an every night event!

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