Q: I workout with weights and run several times a week. I have very tight, sore muscles and find myself taking a lot of pain relievers such as ibuprofen. Will incorporating a massage regimen into my current program alleviate my problems and allow me to get off the meds?
A: According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage acts to improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus, and shorten recovery time. It basically involves two types of responses: A mechanical response as a result of the pressure and movement, and a reflex response where the nerves respond to the stimulation of a massage.
The latest research conducted by scientists shows that massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells, following a bout of strenuous exercise. What does that mean? It means that massage can help pain relief, build muscles, and encourage their recovery, as well. Not only does massage feel good on the muscle tissues, it is actually good for them.