Massage Research Roundup 1

In this summary of recent research into massage therapy, I looked at the risks of occupational hand injuries to physical therapists, how massage can alleviate muscle soreness after exercise, and how massage compares with other techniques for post-exercise recovery. Giles Gyer and colleagues pointed to the importance for therapists to use preventative measures and look into aids and equipment to prevent hand injuries. When I trained as a massage therapist, my teachers were very good in showing us how to use correct stance, use of joints and body weight in order to protect ourselves, and also to provide a more effective treatment for the patient.

The results of the second study were quite positive in demonstrating that massage can help post strenuous exercise. As a sports massage therapist, I have seen this many times. Although I usually advise waiting a couple of days after a particularly challenging sporting event before having a sports massage. Manual lymphatic drainage is fine to have sooner, as it is gentler. Massage therapy was found to be the most effective post-exercise recovery technique in the third study I summarized, a meta-analysis of 99 studies.