Welcome to my first ever blog!! I thought it would be interesting to blog about all things Massage. Either challenging myths that surround Massage Therapy, exploring different types of Massage and learning more about our Muscles.
As a disclaimer I am only giving my opinion and understand there will always be a debate on these matters. First up, Lactic Acid.
Massage Myth: Massage flushes Lactic Acid out of muscles.
Now as controversial as this may sound, this cannot be true. We have all been told that the burning sensation and soreness in our muscles after vigorous exercise is caused by Lactic Acid build up and that by having a Massage this "toxin" can be removed from our muscles. Well, bear with me on this as the explanation involves a lot of chemistry, I am in no way a Chemist, but I'll do my best to explain the process in the simplest of forms. If you aren't interested just skip to the bottom!!
We need energy to do things
Energy comes from Glucose through a process called Glycolysis
Glucose is broken down in to a substance called Pyruvate.
When breathing does not supply a sufficient amount of Oxygen (O2), the body temporarily converts Pyruvate in to Lactate, allowing Glucose breakdown to continue.
(Now the burning sensation in the muscles part is very wordy and all to do with other Chemicals in the body but just understand that Lactate is not the cause of this.)
When the body slows down, O2 becomes available and Lactate converts back to Pyruvate which converts back to Glucose in the Liver and returned via circulation to the muscles. This process can take from a few minutes to up to an hour to occur.
Therefore Massage can not flush "Lactic Acid" from muscles as there is no "Lactic Acid" left an hour after exercise.
The symptoms you can feel after vigorous exercise such as (DOMS) Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is from micro tears that occur in the muscle tissue.
Where Massage can help is in alleviating and reducing DOMS and swelling.
So next time someone tells you that your sore muscles are caused by Lactic Acid and to have a massage to flush it out, you'll have me to thank when you look all clever and correct them.