The question we should ask from a lifter's point of view is, are there any health benefits of massage? Some people swear by it as their favorite stress buster, while some say that it is a useless perk
Once you have exercised, your muscles begin to recover from the trauma the workout puts them through, and once they are fully recovered, grow them a bit more to make sure that they are strong enough to lift the same weight as last time. This is the basic principle of recovery and progressive overload, when filtered down to bare minimum. We must determine the therapeutic benefits of massage, whether a deep tissue massage performed through a body massager technique can accelerate the process of recovery or not.
The body massager technique includes:
1. A stroking technique in which the heels and the palms of the hand glides over the part to be massaged;
2. Holding the affected tissue between the thumb and forefinger while you roll, lift and twist it; and
3. Cupping-type action. Deep friction massage involves massaging the site of lesion.
Quite a few studies have been performed to verify the properties of a proper body massager machine in terms of aiding muscle recovery. Examples of Studies:
Study 1: In a study done by the University of Mississipi, Medical Center, 40 untrained female subjects performed bicep curls until they fatigued. In untrained subjects, this will definitely cause soreness. Then they were divided into four groups, including one controlled group, treated in one of three ways: Upper body exercise (arm cycling), massage and electrical stimulation, done immediately after exercise and again 24 hours later. A control group wasn’t treated in any of these ways. Researchers found that each type of four groups rated their soreness the same. neither massage therapy nor exercise decreased muscle soreness.
Study 2: A recently published study from Laurier University in Canada found that massage had no effect on blood flow in the limbs.
From a general point of view, though , there are some surprising health benefits of massage. Massage can facilitate movement of swelling out of your tissues. It relaxes tight muscle groups, working to bring the body back into balance and thus helping protect against overuse issues. It can also help in preventing sticking points in the muscle tissue and the tissue that surround muscles. These can build up and limit your range of motion: controlling their formation helps you move fluidly and perform at your best.
A lot of people, even some successful professional body builders, advocate benefits of massage. However, this is a very personal opinion and is based on experiences, which weren’t observed satisfactorily and have no roots in science. Thus, such experiences can be ignored.
If we purely consider it as a means to recover and grow faster, there is no conclusive data that shows its effectiveness. By all means, go ahead and get one if it makes you feel good. But as far as muscle growth is concerned, massage benefits are negligible, if we consider the observations and results at hand.
Eat right, train hard and stay strong!