If you think that massage after exercise improves blood flow to the muscle, better think again, for a study conducted by Canadian scientists at Queen's University suggests the contrary.
The researchers say that their study debunks the myth that massage after exercise improves circulation to the muscle, and assists in the removal of lactic acid and other waste products.
"This dispels a common belief in the general public about the way in which massage is beneficial," says Kinesiology and Health Studies professor Michael Tschakovsky.
"It also dispels that belief among people in the physical therapy profession. All the physical therapy professionals that I have talked to, when asked what massage does, answer that it improves muscle blood flow and helps get rid of lactic acid. Ours is the first study to challenge this and rigorously test its validity," he adds.
Kinesiology MSc candidate Vicky Wiltshire and Dr. Tschakovsky set out to test the truthfulness of the never-tested belief that massage aids in the removal of lactic acid from muscle tissue.
Their study showed that massage actually impairs blood flow to the muscle after exercise, and that it, therefore, also impairs the removal of lactic acid from muscle after exercise.
A presentation on the study will be made at the annual American College of Sports Medicine conference, which runs from May 27 to 30 in Seattle, Washington.