Hands on treatments: they’re real medicine
An awful lot of people view massage and beauty treatments as luxuries. Well, Dr Glory is here to give you some facts about hands on treatments, backed up by actual science bods and everything, that may give you fully justifiable excuses, sorry, reasons, to incorporate regular massage and beauty treatments into your life.
We all know that hands on treatments make us feel good. We all know that massage ‘works’ and that having beauty and grooming treatments gives us a ‘boost’. What’s not commonly known is why and how. In Dr Glory’s two part prescription for health and well being we discover the science behind the satisfaction that hands on treatments bring.
Our first topic is massage (ahhhh, massage); in the first ever study of the cellular effects of massage, carried out at McMaster University and published in Science Transnational Medicine, researchers proved that your body is literally hard wired to release pain easing, inflammation reducing and muscle repairing responses when massaged. Massage actually changes gene expression, or in basic terms, it changes how your body’s cells function.
If we’re going to get really technical, it comes down to something called messenger RNA (mRNA). Just like DNA, RNA is vital for living beings and mRNA tells the body to increase or decrease the rate of production of proteins that affect how the body works. In the McMaster study, biopsies were taken of the massaged and non massaged legs of young, fit men, post strenuous exercise. The results showed that the massaged legs had been told by mRNA to make less of the proteins NFkB and more of PGC-1alpha. Translated, lower NFkB levels reduces inflammation, and higher amounts of PGC-1alpha leads to increased rates of muscle fibre repair.
Aside from this no mean feat of altering the body on a cellular level, massage also releases large amounts of endorphins into the blood stream. These miraculous multi tasking neurotransmitters have pain relieving properties akin to morphine, and recent studies suggest they enhance the immune system, reduce stress and even delay the ageing process. Wow.
Its Dr Glory’s personal opinion that no other type of medication, pill or treatment works on as many levels or is as amazingly beneficial as massage; so for best effects, use regularly and often!
Next time: Beauty is more than skin deep: how grooming and beauty treatments work to make you feel good.