In a previous post we described the benefit of massage at the crime scene, so to speak, the site of the muscle injury. The mechanical deformation of tissue causes reduction in local inflammation, increases the biogenesis of mitochondria, and accelerates the remodeling of the injured tissue. But could that account for the emotional experience of massage? How could all these local effects cause the sense of relaxation and general well-being? In short: they don’t.
Massage therapy feels good, everybody loves it. But is it also good for your health? Intuitively we “know” that it is “good for you,” but where is the objective evidence?
For the weekend warriors, which is most of us, the feeling is familiar. You run 10 miles, or do one hundred pushups; you feel great, and disgustingly self-rightous. But then comes the morning-after, and it’s payback time: your muscles are sore, you are waddling like a duck, and you feel generally stupid for overdoing it. First thing you do is reach for the ibuprofen or aleve, or some other NSAID (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug). Don’t! There is a better way to deal with it.