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More on the Queen’s massage study

May 23rd, 2009

I posted last week about an interesting study on how massage works (or doesn’t). Michael Tschakovsky and his colleagues at Queen’s University concluded that, contrary to popular belief, deep-tissue massage doesn’t “flush out lactic acid” from tired muscles by enhancing circulation. In fact, they observed the opposite effect: massage actually appears to inhibit circulation.

But that doesn’t mean massage doesn’t work at all. Paul Taylor has a nice piece on this study in the Globe and Mail that contains a few new nuggets — in particular, some thoughts about how massage might actually work:

Why then does a massage feel so good? Dr. Tschakovsky can’t yet say for sure, but he suspects that it helps stops muscle spasms. “The pressure applied to the muscle … breaks the cycle of the nerve that is causing the muscle to contract so your muscle will relax,” he speculated.

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