March 26, 2012

Could Massage Boost Muscle Fitness?

Filed under: News / Events — Jennifer @ 7:53 am

photo credit to Diamond Rubber Products

According to WebMD Health News, “If someone starts an endurance exercise training program, after two or four months of training, depending on the intensity, you essentially double the volume of mitochondria in muscle” says researcher Mark A. Tarnopolsky, MD, PhD, a professor of pediatrics and head of Neuromuscular and Neurometabolic Disease at McMaster University in Hamilton, ONtario, Canada.

Mitochondria, he says help the cell to take up and use oxygen “The ‘muscles’ ability to extract oxygen is proportional to the amount of mitochondria that are there.”

“Exercise plus massage seems to enhance that pathway,” Tarnopolsky says.

If further research can duplicate and expand on these findings, Tarnopolsky says that would mean that massage may be uniquely beneficial to muscle recovery and muscle growth.

In recent years, a number of studies have shown that remedies for muscle soreness that work by turning down inflammation – things like ice baths or anti-inflammatory medications – may also have a downside.  They may also block muscle repair and growth, which depends on inflammation. “People were starting to feel it was a one-to-one link:  You suppress inflammation, you [lessen] adaptation,” says Tarnopolsky, “But this appears to be an intervention that suppresses the inflammatory response, but still allows, and actually enhances, the [recovery] response.” The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

So what are your thoughts on the subject?  Can massage actually help with inflammation due to exercise? Do the muscles have an enhanced pathway when adding massage with exercise?


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