Sports Massage Doesn’t Flush Toxins, but May Help You Recover

There is good reason massage therapists are part of an elite runner’s entourage. And why the lines for a postrace massage seemingly extend for miles. A rubdown—even a deep, intense one—feels great. Runners report that massages help lessen muscle tension and improve range of motion, while also making them feel relaxed and rewarded for their hard efforts.

Yet despite massage’s popularity and positive reputation, there’s been little scientific evidence to support why athletes feel so good when they hop off the table. “It can be hard to merge basic science with alternative medicine,” says Justin Crane, Ph.D., a McMaster University researcher who conducted some of the first objective studies on massage in 2012. Practitioners say massage relieves muscle soreness, promotes circulation, flushes toxins and lactic acid from the body, and eases joint strain—claims supported by centuries of anecdotal evidence from China, Sweden, and around the globe. But science hadn’t confirmed just what massage actually achieves—until now. Recent research has sorted out what’s true and what’s not.

Source: The Pros and Cons of Massages for Runners

Massage do not flush lactic acid, or other “toxins” from your muscles. Lactic acid is produced during exercise, and though you might associate it with a burning feeling during hard work – it’s not a problem, isn’t responsible for next-day soreness, and doesn’t need help to be removed from the muscles.  Plenty of studies show that massage has no effect on blood flow to the muscles.

Massage does help to relax muscles, though, which can help to relieve tight muscles. The same action can break up adhesions, a type of scar tissue that sometimes forms in muscle.  Massage promotes recovery.

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Guide to Decoding Your Blood Test Results

Spoiler alert: They don’t mention INR.

Apart from the puzzling jargon, the design of bloodwork lab reports is dismal. Wonderful makeovers have been envisioned, but until they’re in use, we’re stuck deciphering highly technical and administrative-looking documents that make tax forms look like an ecard from mom.

But have no fear. You can become literate in your blood test results. Our guide isn’t a comprehensive glossary of technical terms, but it provides basic definitions and a better overall visual sense of how the information on a typical blood test report is presented and organized so you can interpret your blood work with confidence.

Source: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Your Blood Test Results

Hypochonriacs: Just because something is outside the normal range, does not mean its something to worry about. A lot of times things will be transient and things are often technically abnormal when they aren’t actually clinically significant. For example some people have very low blood pressure, but unless you’re having symptoms of low blood pressure most doctors would not give it a second though.

The article mentions hangry, which has been covered before.