Most of the knowledge behind the benefit of massage has been anecdotal. People seem to agree it is useful at repairing muscle, and especially useful at helping increase the rate of healing in injured muscles, but until now there had been almost no scientific evidence that showed how or if it really even worked.
A new study looked to answer these questions.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky may have found an answer. The tests were done on 24 rats that had four different massage simulations done to them over a period of days. The results showed that rats had an immune response relative to the different compression levels to rats were put under.
More interesting, the rats only had one limb compressed, but saw the immune response in both limbs, suggesting the benefits of massage may have positive effects in other muscles also.
The results are some of the first to explain how massage actually works and put scientific evidence behind the practice. The tests were done on rats and should be taken as new researcher, but they do give us an idea of how massage works in healing muscles.