Like most studies involving different forms of body work, the one published by the Buck Institute for Age Research in February 2012, finds and states what would be intuitively obvious to most people and something not so obvious…
The study showed that massage reduces inflammation following strenuous exercise and that it promotes the growth, within the cells of skeletal muscle, of new mitochondria.
Mitochondria are the energy producing units of the cell.
There’s general agreement that massage feels good, this study provides a scientific basis for the experience. This research also now begins to provide “scientific” validation for massage. This is only important from the point of view that massage is growing in popularity and may soon be prescribed more as traditional sick care models look for non-drug alternatives to attempting to help people.
The authors of the study suggested that the potential benefits of massage could be useful to a broad spectrum of individuals including the elderly, those suffering from musculo-skeletal injuries and patients with chronic inflammatory disease.
About 18 million individuals undergo massage therapy annually in the U.S., making it the fifth most widely used form of complementary and alternative medicine.
Until this study, the biological effects of massage on skeletal tissue have remained unclear.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, luxury, etc.) or the reasons we seek it out (stress relief, pain management, etc.), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen especially when it is made a part of one’s healthy lifestyle.