In over a decade of practice as a chiropractor, the main referral partners I have developed in the community are massage therapists. Over the years, I have come to appreciate the benefits they provide to our mutual patients in the process of recovering from an injury and maintaining wellness. So, here’s a bit of news that I am happy to learn and pass along to all of the therapists that I work with and to the clients I refer for their services:
Among the many benefits of massage, a new study coming from McMaster University has found that massage therapy after exercise helps to turn off the inflammatory response that comes from exercise-induced muscle damage, and it increases the number and size of mitochondria during recovery. When it comes to the recovery process, this is big news for people who train frequently and with high intensity. Decreasing inflammation gets the damage repair underway sooner and the increased mitochondria will lead to greater energy production by the muscles in the future.
As a practitioner, I like thinking about how this information applies to all of my patients, not just athletes. This mechanism is most likely one of the reasons that massage after a car accident or other injury helps people get better faster than if they don’t have this care. In other words, it’s unlikely that these benefits are limited to athletes, but I’ll leave the specifics of that question for researchers. In the meantime, I’ll keep referring.
Hmmm. Faster healing time… Decreased pain levels… Improved endurance… Get a massage now! Then make them a solid part of your recovery plan!
Read the abstract.