Evidence for Massage Therapy
From the desk of Jen Jaynes, LMT...
There is an exciting new study on sports massage that looks at what happens in muscles at a cellular level after exercise, and compares muscles that receive massage to those that do not. This study is rare because it required actually taking a small piece of the muscle from each volunteer - a major commitment! Click here for The New York Times full article.
We already know that after exhausting exercise, muscles are inflamed. Inflammation is a part of the healing process. But inflammation becomes a problem when the response is greater than needed or when the body becomes trapped in a cycle of inflammation and doesn’t progress with healing.
NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen or Aleve slow inflammation. However, Dr. Mark A. Tarnopolsky, the lead study author and a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, says that overuse of anti-inflammatory drugs may result in a person staying chronically injured as their body has no chance to heal without going through inflammation first.
The study by Dr Tarnopolsky examined how muscles recover after strenuous exercise, comparing muscles with and without massage. The study found that muscles that got massage therapy had fewer cytokines, which are a part of inflammation. The massaged muscles also had more active mitochondria, the part of a cell that creates the energy needed to heal. The study authors theorize that massage may suppress the less desirable aspects of inflammation while still permitting cell healing - the best of both worlds! This is great news for athletes and sports massage therapists.
Jen Jaynes Licensed Massage Therapist
Jen Jaynes is a licensed massage therapist and a 2006 graduate of the Muscular Therapy Institute in Watertown, MA (now the Cortiva Institute in Boston). Jen enjoys working with clients to meet their wellness goals through massage. Through discussion with the client and careful observation, she creates a custom ized massage and treatment plan for each client, drawing from Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial, and sports massage techniques. She works both specifically, to release tight muscles, and generally, to help clients integrate all their muscles into a smoothly working whole. Using this variety of tools, Jen creates a deep and effective massage.
Jen received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brandeis University and is a member of American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). She is dedicated to ongoing education, and regularly takes workshops to develop additional massage skills, including prenatal massage, myofascial release for shoulder dysfunction, hot stone massage, and sports massage. She brings these techniques to each session, to create the ideal combination of massage methods for each client.
Jen enjoys finding new sports and ways to use her body. During massage school, she also trained in a western martial art of full-contact sword fighting, and learned first-hand how effective massage can be for hard-working muscles. She is currently learning aerial arts, such as silks and static trapeze. Because of her experience in several demanding sports, she has an understanding and open mind for how clients use their body and the demands they place on it daily. Her massages focus on helping her client’s body meet all of the challenges of their every day life and physical activities with ease and comfort.