Here’s a recent article on the Wall Street Journal with a small overview on the shift from viewing massage as a pampering “luxury” to a beneficial therapy. As a therapist, I really enjoy seeing massage discussed from health and medical stand points, and it’s articles like this that help bring that discussion out into public view.
A couple tidbits I liked:
- “The American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society now include massage as one of their recommendations for treating low back pain, according to guidelines published in 2007.”
Sweet! I know studies have been done demonstrating that massage helps back pain even better than NSAIDs like Tylenol and Advil, but I didn’t know it has become officially recommended by some medical groups.
- “In a small study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine last month, a 10-minute massage promoted muscle recovery after exercise. In the study, 11 young men exercised to exhaustion and then received a massage in one leg. Muscle biopsies were taken in both quad muscles before exercise, after the massage and 2½ hours later.The short massage boosted the production of mitochondria, the energy factory of the cell, among other effects. “We’ve shown this is something that has a biological effect,” says Mark Tarnopolsky”
Massage, as it turns out, is not just a “feel good” rub down, but has effects on your body even down to the cellular level. Science still hasn’t explored all the possibilities yet, but it is really encouraging to see money being put toward massage research. It helps legitimize the massage therapy profession as a whole.