New Research on Massage Benefits

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Vascular Function

Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago found that massage therapy improved circulatory function in subjects who don’t regularly exercise. The 2014 study asked healthy, but sedentary, adults to use a leg-press machine to the point of soreness. Half of the group received Swedish massage afterward while the other half did not, and a control group received massage without exercising. The exercise-plus-massage group reported no continuing soreness, while the exercise-only group experienced soreness for as long as 24 hours. Small tears and injuries that occur during normal exercise reduce blood flow. The exercise-plus-massage group showed improved blood flow, tapering off after 72 hours. The exercise-only group showed reduced blood flow, which returned to normal after 72 hours. What surprised researchers is that the massage-only group showed improvement in systematic, not just localized, circulation even without exercise.