I have been a major proponent of massage for some time now. From Tui Na to deep tissue, I have seen benefits from its use with athletes and patients of all background. Which is why I was very surprised to read the following:
Massage has little effect on post-exercise recovery, according to a meta-analysis and literature review of over 20 studies from universities in Germany. (Meta-studies are studies of the various studies that have been done. In other words, one meta-study is the review of for example 40 different studies on the subject matter.)
In short, here were the results found:
- Massage worked best following workouts that combined strength and endurance workouts.
- Massages lasting between 5-12 minutes were superior to longer sessions.
- Untrained people benefitted from massages more than experienced athletes.
- Overall results were small and inconsistent.
- Minor efforts were noted for recovery.