The 2010). Frictions is a much deeper stroke, which

The aim of my assignment is to
carry out a literature review to see if massage is an evidence based practice or
not and will focus on trying to find if there is any conclusive evidence to
support that massage does actually have some impact upon what is being
investigated. In this literature review I have aimed to use a wide range of
sources for my information such as massage books and journals which can be seen
throughout this review. Massage is the manipulation of soft tissue (muscles,
tendons, ligaments and fascia) and is generally used after physical activity to
benefit the client whether it be physiologically or psychologically. Massage
has many different techniques, these techniques include effleurage, petrissage,
tapotement and frictions. Effleurage consists of stroking the skin and is
completed in the same direction of the lymph and blood flow. This is done to
warm up the skin, relax the client and increase circulation, tissue drainage
and soothe painful areas (Findlay. S, 2010). Petrissage is where the muscle is
lifted away from underlying structures and is gently kneaded/compressed, this
stretches the muscles out. This reduces muscle soreness and swelling and can loosen
adhesions (Findlay. S, 2010). Tapotement is used pre-game to energise and
stimulate muscles and muscle spindle. Repetitive percussion to the skin using
the ulnar border, cupped hands, fists does this (Findlay. S, 2010). Frictions
is a much deeper stroke, which is done transversely or parallel to the muscle
fibres completed by the thumbs or fingers. This is to create a controlled
inflammation to break down scar tissue and separate tissues which are not meant
to be stuck together (Findlay. S, 2010). Due to massage becoming more recognizable
in the public as well as in the sporting environment there is more speculation
to whether massage does have physiological benefits to the body especially
after exercise and this is why so many more investigations are taking place to
put the question to the test, is massage an evidence based practice?


The journals I have read have come
to one of two stances, the massage performed had a great impact upon the
client/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 ensure
that the techniques that were used and the data found and produced were
relevant to todays practice of massage.

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Firstly, there are the journals
that have coincided with my stance that massage is evidence based. First one
investigated, 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 randomised
over many different databases and using different techniques, that massage
therapy after strenuous exercise had an effect on relieving DOMS and improving
muscle performance after intensive exercise, meaning that athletes were able to
perform better due to the relief of DOMS. However, this review had some
limitations that drew back from the overall stance of the review, there would
need to be a much larger sample size over many different sports to see if
massage therapy had some form of effect on relieving DOMS. The main drawback of
the review was that the participants were taken from many different
investigations, which in turn meant that their treatment was not standardised
as it was completed for different durations, by different therapists with
different levels of experience, techniques and intensities. This would have skewed
the data meaning and overall conclusion would’ve been hard to draw.


However, comparing this journal
to the previous one, this investigation all participants were randomly selected
and given the exact same treatment. This journal investigated the “efficacy of
massage on muscle soreness, perceived recovery, physiological restoration and physical
performance in male body builders” (Kargarfard. M, 2016). The 30 male
bodybuilders were investigated to see if massage had an effect on their
recovery after performing 1 rep max on the knee flexor and extensor muscle
group. This investigation supported that massage is evidence based due to the
massage group experiencing a better recovery rate than the control group. Post
exercise massage increased the bodybuilders performance and recovery after the intensive
exercise. The therapists completed the exact same treatment on each athlete
making it more unbiased, this was done by a tape-recorded message played to the
therapists while performing the massage, the recording announced when to change
technique. This investigation was conducted with a very small sample group, if
it the conclusion was to be more widely accepted they should increased their
sample size using both genders, over more regions/countries, sports and ages.


The third journal also had a
standardised way to ensure that their warm up was completed the same by all of
the participants. The third journal investigated assessment of “effectiveness
of sports massage in supporting of warm-up” (Boguszewski, D, 2014) This investigation saw 59 women in 2 groups, the first
group completed a standardised dance warm up, then completed fitness tests and fill
out a questionnaire. The second group received massage on their lower limbs followed
by standardised dance warm up, then completed fitness tests and filled out a questionnaire.
This investigation concluded that warm up with massage prior had a positive
impact upon fitness levels when comparing it to the control group. This was not
a wide enough investigation to come to the conclusion that massage before
exercise is beneficial to a warm up due to a little number of participants   The
investigation should’ve been conducted over a wider age range to gain more
conclusive results which can prove that this specific warm up and massage combination
had a positive impact upon women under 30 only.


The fourth journal I investigated
although they standardised the time for the massage it wasn’t completed to a
high standard of the previous journals, this could be improved in future
similar investigations (recorded messages announcing when to change stroke). This
journal was on the “effect of manual lymph drainage on removal of blood lactate
after submaximal exercise” (Bakar. Y, 2015). This journal was based around 18
healthy male students and whether manual lymph drainage (massage) after
submaximal exercise had an effect on removal of blood lactate from worked
muscles. After reviewing collected evidence the students which received manual
lymph drainage showed that it had a positive impact upon removal of the waste
products such as lactic acid, lactate dehydrogenase serum which had spiked levels
after exercise. After analysing the data, they could conclude the rapid fall in
lactic acid had a positive impact upon the regeneration of muscle cells as
muscular enzymes had more favourable conditions to grow and reproduce. Although
what this journal concluded that manual lymph drainage after exercise could
decrease recovery time, it was conducted over a small group of students of the
same gender. For a more persuasive argument this should be conducted with a
larger range of ages and over a wider region.