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The Body of Evidence Interview: Massage myths

 •  • by Paul Ingraham

Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Science journalist and physician Dr. Christopher Labos asked me what’s up with massage therapy on their health science podcast, The Body of Evidence (“Medicine that tastes funny.”) Their show has a strong whimsical flair that’s unusual in this domain, and I’ve been enjoying it for the last year. We had some good laughs and somehow crammed all the big massage myths into one rushed, bemused hour. The main topics (and the links here are to pages on PainScience.com that cover these topics):

11:43Increasing circulation
17:46Tightness
22:00Do massages detox or toxify the body?
30:25Post-exercice massages
34:07Massage isn’t anti-inflammatory
36:43May the fascia be with you
39:46 The endorphins that weren’t there
42:45Tiger Balm and Its Rubefacient Orchestra
46:22 Does Paul recommend massage (and chiropractic)?
49:59Massages for depression and anxiety
51:50The complex puzzle of chronic pain