Massage (Deep Tissue-type) and Linear Progression
First, thank you (@ Rip and the SS community) for your consistently excellent feedback.
I've posted threads here on the forums about massage; after going through 20-ish pages of results on the word massage, I'm thoroughly satisfied that this subject hasn't been explored here before.
Has the link between massage and linear strength progression been studied (as in a rigorous, well controlled study) before?
As I understand it, massage can reduce inflammation, and subjectively, deep tissue massages are just about the best feeling activity ever. Also in my case I notice the reduced muscle tension leads to postural improvements. But as I would also have understood it, inflammation post-workout is part of the 'trigger' that signals musculoskeletal adaptation. Therefore, would the reduction in inflammation due to a deep massage be counterproductive to a linear strength program?
Objectively, I would like to know if there are any data-driven studies that have looked at the link between strength gains and massage.
-Adam from Illinois
I am not aware of any. We'll ask those more familiar with the lit.
I am not familiar with the lit- or even aware of any. But I have asked clients this question a bunch. The response for those who receive it regularly is that it seems to help with avoiding injury.
Also- and others have pointed this out here- getting a session right after training doesn't seem to be as effective as doing it a little into recovery time- like the next day or on a 2 day break.
All guesses- sorry.
Just to shoot off at the mouth, it seems unlikely to me that a massage would moderate the cellular level signalling that drives adaptation.
But biology is weird, so I wouldn't rule it out.
This might be a start to helping you answer your question:
This silly article is probably what prompted the question. So I'll bet he's read it.
Here's the actual journal article, published in Science.
Conclusion: "In summary, when administered to skeletal muscle that has been acutely damaged through exercise, massage therapy appears to be clinically beneficial by reducing inflammation and promoting mitochondrial biogenesis."
Only eleven subjects. Pretty small population but definitely surprising and interesting results that may prompt more research, which is probably why it was accepted by Science.
And hey, I'll use any excuse for a good deep-tissue massage.
You need to take this response with a grain of salt, because I've only studied deep tissue massage briefly and no longer practice.
Originally Posted by agalig
In my view, the main contributions that deep tissue massage (or myofascial release or any kind of structural integration such as Rolfing) makes are
- making you aware of postural imbalances
- loosening the muscles so that imbalances can start to correct themselves
By that reasoning, it helps linear progression, because your muscles will be able to work more effectively.
Anecdotally, I had my 1st massage this weekend and I actually felt as though I had a lingering soreness in my upper back from my Friday workout that would otherwise normally not affect me on a Monday. Then again my old lady & I went away this weekend, got drunk, and uh...played a lot of Connect 4.
Np. Thanks for the reply.
Originally Posted by JM3
Originally Posted by tertius
The New York Times is shit; It is possible that not everyone from Illinois is an idiot.
Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe