In Massage Therapy Canada, they describe how researchers are exploring massage as a method of building muscle.
This may sound unusual for those who receive massage when they are in good health, but it is becoming more clear that massage can be especially helpful for anyone who is recovering, or is experiencing muscle loss and atrophy due to injury, age, or illness.
Accident related injury, aging, and illness can definitely limit one’s ability to move comfortably and get daily exercise.
In all these cases, rest is important for healing, but leads to muscle atrophy.
Dr. Esther Dupont-Versteegden of the University of Kentucky’s College of Health Sciences (CHS) says that “People who are unable to exercise due to, for example, a recent surgery or illness, lose as much as three percent of their muscle mass per week…That doesn’t sound like much, but it can make recovery much more difficult, especially for the elderly.” Both she and her colleague Dr. Tim Butterfield have been testing a relatively affordable, non-invasive treatment that clearly suggests that massage support the recovery of muscle mass and reduce atrophy.
Of course, this is by no means replacing weight training or strength training, but can help in certain circumstances overall muscle loss. According to Butterfield, massage copies the effect of exercise by sending signals to the muscle to begin protein synthesis. Interestingly, it seems that massaging one limb seems to also positively affect the corresponding muscle on the other side of the body!
The goal of this study is to integrate and identify affordable and practical ways to reduce disability and improve overall health.
RMT Sharon Jackson works with many elderly patients and those recovering from illness or injury.
Read the original article here.