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Massage After Exercise Myth Busted

Date:
May 8, 2009
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
Scientists have blown open the myth that massage after exercise improves circulation to the muscle and assists in the removal of lactic acid and other waste products. Massage actually impairs blood flow to the muscle after exercise, and it therefore also impairs the removal of lactic acid from muscle after exercise.
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A Queen's University research team has blown open the myth that massage after exercise improves circulation to the muscle and assists in the removal of lactic acid and other waste products.
Credit: iStockphoto/David Peeters

A Queen’s University research team has blown open the myth that massage after exercise improves circulation to the muscle and assists in the removal of lactic acid and other waste products.

“This dispels a common belief in the general public about the way in which massage is beneficial,” says Kinesiology and Health Studies professor Michael Tschakovsky. “It also dispels that belief among people in the physical therapy profession.  All the physical therapy professionals that I have talked to, when asked what massage does, answer that it improves muscle blood flow and helps get rid of lactic acid.  Ours is the first study to challenge this and rigorously test its validity.”

The belief that massage aids in the removal of lactic acid from muscle tissue is so pervasive it is even listed on the Canadian Sports Massage Therapists website as one of the benefits of massage, despite there being absolutely no scientific research to back this up.

Kinesiology MSc candidate Vicky Wiltshire and Dr. Tschakovsky set out to discover if this untested hypothesis was true, and their results show that massage actually impairs blood flow to the muscle after exercise, and that it therefore also impairs the removal of lactic acid from muscle after exercise.

This study will be presented at the annual American College of Sports Medicine conference in Seattle, Washington May 27-30, 2009


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Queen's University. "Massage After Exercise Myth Busted." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507164405.htm>.
Queen's University. (2009, May 8). Massage After Exercise Myth Busted. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507164405.htm
Queen's University. "Massage After Exercise Myth Busted." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507164405.htm (accessed May 28, 2015).

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