Massage and post exercise recovery

In this day and age – fitness, wellbeing and health are big talking points. Everybody wants to know the next fitness craze or healthy eating fad. There is plenty of blogs, Instagram pages, and Facebook posts to follow to stay up to date. But how else can you help maintain a fit and healthy body?

Current scientific research is emerging regarding how massage can benefit your body and optimise your fitness and recovery.

 

Some of the obvious health benefits of massage include:

Ease muscle pain

Soothes anxiety and depression

Improves sleep

Boosts immunity

Relieves headaches

 

But what is happening internally to allow for the benefits of massage occur?

 

Current Research

A study conducted by Best and Crawford (2017), assessed the scientific literature of post exercise massage, and how it has accelerated in the last decade. Several clinical and animal studies have addressed biological plausibility. Clinical studies have investigated the long-held claims that massage mediates leucocyte migration (Leucocytes are the white blood cells of the immunes system, protecting the body against infections and foreign invaders), and reduces the inflammatory response to exercise, as well as decrease pain, muscle tone and hyperactivity.

It has also been shown that massage initiated immediately after exercise and massage delayed by 48 hours, were both effective in reducing muscle oedema (swelling) and decreasing the number of damaged muscle fibres compared to exercised, non–massaged controls.

These investigations suggest that the reduction in inflammatory cells and proinflammatory cytokines (cells that act to make a disease worse) by massage can moderate secondary injury associated with intense exercise, thereby reducing tissue damage and accelerating recovery.

 

To read more about how a post exercise massage can enhance your return to competition and training click here.

Alternatively book into see one of our practitioners today and reap the benefits first hand at Comfort health.