Put Down the Aspirin and Get on the Table

Notice his discarded bottle of medication and blissed-out expression. This could be YOU!

I’m referring to a massage table, of course. You won’t find me telling you to dance on tables. At least not on this particular blog.

Anyway, really interesting article from the NY Times today on How Massage Heals Sore Muscles. (h/t to Jonathan Meer for the link!)

 

The takeaway: recent research has shown that “massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery” as opposed to the more popular and potentially more dangerous “suppressing [of] inflammation with drugs.” Lots of exercise leads to microtears in muscle fibers, and the body responds with inflammation as it begins the work of healing the muscle. They found that “massage can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines” and “stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair.” Now the labcoats (and thanks to me, you too! you’re welcome) have a better idea of what massage is doing to help heal the body. That’s pretty neat. And let me say here that touch in and of itself is an incredibly powerful healing tool. So if you can’t get a massage, I vote you at least get a cuddle or a hug. Where are those Free Hug sign-toting hobos when you need them?

This is also a great opportunity for me to recommend the services of Julia Fragias, my incredibly talented and knowledgeable massage therapist. Check out her blog here, especially her recent post on stretching, and contact her if you too are ready to put down the bottle and get on the table.

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One thought on “Put Down the Aspirin and Get on the Table

  1. You’re living proof of the research! And for anyone who really pushes their body to the limit, you don’t want to be popping pills just to function in your sport and your daily life. A little massage goes a very long way.

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