One article on PainSci cites Munk 2012: Does Massage Increase Circulation?
PainSci commentary on Munk 2012: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.
This is a good quality review and a must-read for anyone seriously interested in this topic. However, it doesn’t actually give us new data: it’s just a review paper that also introduces a new method of measuring circulation. That method could be used in experiments going forward, and the authors make a great case that it should be, but they haven’t done so themselves since 2011, and no one else appears to have done so either. (They did report some data from a demonstration experiment with a single subject, but the authors make it clear that this is just an inspiration for more research.)
The method they introduce is interesting in its own right. Although it doesn’t matter to anyone but researchers planning to do studies of circulatory function, it’s neat. It’s based on the principle that infrared light beamed into tissue can bounce around a lot in tissues and some of those photons will emerge from the skin nearby, and quite a lot of good information can be inferred from how many of them make it out. And the data can be produced in real-time, which is the best part.
I think they do a fine job of arguing that what we truly want to know has never actually been measured directly, only inferred from related/imprecise measurements. In their opinion, the question isn’t settled, and probably can’t be without using their method.
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Increase in tissue blood flow is one of the most acknowledged potential effects of massage; however, actual research studies examining this phenomenon are inconsistent and inconclusive. One possible reason for continued uncertainty regarding this topic is methodology, specifically how tissue blood flow is measured because limitations exist in previously utilized technologies. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) affords massage researchers a versatile and non-invasive measurement option by providing dynamic information on oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations, total hemoglobin concentration, and blood oxygen saturation in deep tissue. Near-infrared diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) is an innovative technique for continuous non-invasive measurement of blood flow in deep tissue. The combination of these two technologies has resulted in a novel hybrid diffuse optical instrument for simultaneous measurement of limb muscle blood flow and oxygenation. The purposes of this short report are to review previous blood flow measurement techniques and limitations in massage therapy research, introduce a novel hybrid near-infrared diffuse optical instrument that addresses previous limitations in the assessment of hemodynamic properties, outline a proposed massage therapy pilot study utilizing the novel measurement technology, and present sample data from a pilot participant using the introduced novel technology.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Is Neck Posture Subgroup in Late Adolescence a Risk Factor for Persistent Neck Pain in Young Adults? A Prospective Study. Richards 2021 Phys Ther.
- Photobiomodulation therapy is not better than placebo in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Guimarães 2021 Pain.
- No effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Cornish 2018 Nutr Res.
- The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. Bebee 2021 Med J Aust.
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.