As if you really need one: Researchers have come up with yet another reason to get a massage after a workout – those healing hands reduce inflammation at the cellular level.
Scientists from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and McMaster University in Ontario conducted a genetic analysis of the leg muscles of 11 young men after they had exercised on a stationary bicycle.
In each case, the men received massages on just one of their legs after their workouts. Biopsies were taken from both legs prior to the exercise, immediately after 10 minutes of massage treatment and after a 2.5 hour period of recovery.
What the Buck researchers found: At the cellular level, the massages appeared to reduces inflammation and promote the growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle. The research was published in the online edition of Science Translational Medicine.
Researcher Dr. Simon Melov said the analysis showed the easing of pain massage brings may involve the same mechanism provided by conventional anti-inflammatory drugs.
"There's general agreement that massage feels good,” said Melov in a statement. “Now we have a scientific basis for the experience."