The aim of my assignment is tocarry out a literature review to see if massage is an evidence based practice ornot and will focus on trying to find if there is any conclusive evidence tosupport that massage does actually have some impact upon what is beinginvestigated. In this literature review I have aimed to use a wide range ofsources for my information such as massage books and journals which can be seenthroughout this review. Massage is the manipulation of soft tissue (muscles,tendons, ligaments and fascia) and is generally used after physical activity tobenefit the client whether it be physiologically or psychologically. Massagehas many different techniques, these techniques include effleurage, petrissage,tapotement and frictions. Effleurage consists of stroking the skin and iscompleted in the same direction of the lymph and blood flow.
This is done towarm up the skin, relax the client and increase circulation, tissue drainageand soothe painful areas (Findlay. S, 2010). Petrissage is where the muscle islifted away from underlying structures and is gently kneaded/compressed, thisstretches the muscles out. This reduces muscle soreness and swelling and can loosenadhesions (Findlay. S, 2010). Tapotement is used pre-game to energise andstimulate muscles and muscle spindle. Repetitive percussion to the skin usingthe ulnar border, cupped hands, fists does this (Findlay.
S, 2010). Frictionsis a much deeper stroke, which is done transversely or parallel to the musclefibres completed by the thumbs or fingers. This is to create a controlledinflammation to break down scar tissue and separate tissues which are not meantto be stuck together (Findlay. S, 2010). Due to massage becoming more recognizablein the public as well as in the sporting environment there is more speculationto whether massage does have physiological benefits to the body especiallyafter exercise and this is why so many more investigations are taking place toput the question to the test, is massage an evidence based practice? The journals I have read have cometo one of two stances, the massage performed had a great impact upon theclient/s or there is little or no evidence that massage benefitted the client/s.All of my journals I have used were published within the last 4 years to ensurethat the techniques that were used and the data found and produced wererelevant to todays practice of massage. Firstly, there are the journalsthat have coincided with my stance that massage is evidence based.
First oneinvestigated, if “massage alleviated delayed onset of muscles soreness (DOMS)after strenuous exercise: a systematic review and meta-analysis” (Guo. J,2017). This journal found that after investigating 504 participants which were randomisedover many different databases and using different techniques, that massagetherapy after strenuous exercise had an effect on relieving DOMS and improvingmuscle performance after intensive exercise, meaning that athletes were able toperform better due to the relief of DOMS. However, this review had somelimitations that drew back from the overall stance of the review, there wouldneed to be a much larger sample size over many different sports to see ifmassage therapy had some form of effect on relieving DOMS. The main drawback ofthe review was that the participants were taken from many differentinvestigations, which in turn meant that their treatment was not standardisedas it was completed for different durations, by different therapists withdifferent levels of experience, techniques and intensities. This would have skewedthe data meaning and overall conclusion would’ve been hard to draw.
However, comparing this journalto the previous one, this investigation all participants were randomly selectedand given the exact same treatment. This journal investigated the “efficacy ofmassage on muscle soreness, perceived recovery, physiological restoration and physicalperformance in male body builders” (Kargarfard. M, 2016). The 30 malebodybuilders were investigated to see if massage had an effect on theirrecovery after performing 1 rep max on the knee flexor and extensor musclegroup.
This investigation supported that massage is evidence based due to themassage group experiencing a better recovery rate than the control group. Postexercise massage increased the bodybuilders performance and recovery after the intensiveexercise. The therapists completed the exact same treatment on each athletemaking it more unbiased, this was done by a tape-recorded message played to thetherapists while performing the massage, the recording announced when to changetechnique.
This investigation was conducted with a very small sample group, ifit the conclusion was to be more widely accepted they should increased theirsample size using both genders, over more regions/countries, sports and ages. The third journal also had astandardised way to ensure that their warm up was completed the same by all ofthe participants. The third journal investigated assessment of “effectivenessof sports massage in supporting of warm-up” (Boguszewski, D, 2014) This investigation saw 59 women in 2 groups, the firstgroup completed a standardised dance warm up, then completed fitness tests and fillout a questionnaire. The second group received massage on their lower limbs followedby standardised dance warm up, then completed fitness tests and filled out a questionnaire.This investigation concluded that warm up with massage prior had a positiveimpact upon fitness levels when comparing it to the control group. This was nota wide enough investigation to come to the conclusion that massage beforeexercise is beneficial to a warm up due to a little number of participants Theinvestigation should’ve been conducted over a wider age range to gain moreconclusive results which can prove that this specific warm up and massage combinationhad a positive impact upon women under 30 only.
The fourth journal I investigatedalthough they standardised the time for the massage it wasn’t completed to ahigh standard of the previous journals, this could be improved in futuresimilar investigations (recorded messages announcing when to change stroke). Thisjournal was on the “effect of manual lymph drainage on removal of blood lactateafter submaximal exercise” (Bakar. Y, 2015). This journal was based around 18healthy male students and whether manual lymph drainage (massage) aftersubmaximal exercise had an effect on removal of blood lactate from workedmuscles. After reviewing collected evidence the students which received manuallymph drainage showed that it had a positive impact upon removal of the wasteproducts such as lactic acid, lactate dehydrogenase serum which had spiked levelsafter exercise. After analysing the data, they could conclude the rapid fall inlactic acid had a positive impact upon the regeneration of muscle cells asmuscular enzymes had more favourable conditions to grow and reproduce.
Althoughwhat this journal concluded that manual lymph drainage after exercise coulddecrease recovery time, it was conducted over a small group of students of thesame gender. For a more persuasive argument this should be conducted with alarger range of ages and over a wider region.