An injustice to Ray Rice
In 1973 I received training performing medical massage protocol for rehabilitation from post-concussion brain dysfunction. During my long career, I wasn’t aware that the implementation of this protocol is such a necessity. I didn’t even know that so many people suffer a concussion and must be rehabilitated.More so, I didn’t suspect the pandemic proportions of this dysfunction in the US, which made the implementation of this protocol so urgent.
Not only that concussion is caused by the huge popularity of American Football and other contact sports and the mass participation of the population in this game starting from school, but also by even the large scale causation of concussion by frequent automobile accidents.
Most of my practice is based on patient referrals. Rather than concussions, these referrals covered patients suffering from upper & lower back and neck pains and dysfunctions, shoulder/knee/hip joints disorders, headaches, myofascial pains etc.
My first-hand familiarity with the spread of detrimental consequences of concussion started about three years ago. I happened to sit in the medical center cafeteria with the group of doctors and scientists, whom I consulted on the treatment of essential hypertension. A specially designed protocol can be helpful in managing essential hypertension.
I was performing hypertension protocol, explaining a physiological effect of massage, goals of the treatment, etc., and guys used to try to develop medications.
Suddenly, there was a breaking news on TV: ”Domestic violence in NFL!” and now famous security camera footage appeared where Ray Rice punches his girlfriend into the face and knocking her out.
The entire nation condemned this action and demanded decisive actions from NFL commissioner. This pressure was so significant, that NFL banned Ray Rice playing for good.
Then Ray Rice appeared on TV asking for forgiveness and promising to take anger management classes. In the end of his apology, his head went down, and he said:” I don’t even remember what happened.”
I commented that Ray doesn’t appear to be a violent person and his behavior has a medical explanation. By having repeated concussions he has developed psychiatric behavioral disorders, which is a typical brain dysfunction. In these cases after a psychotic episode is over, post brain trauma people often doesn’t even remember what happened.
I immediately asked my partner to investigate when the last time Ray Rice suffered a concussion was. Sure enough, it happened the same year when he had previous concussions with some insignificant time difference between them.
While at the table, the guys asked me, if there was a medical massage protocol associated with such a rehabilitation. I told them that this protocol existed, was developed through research, and is clinically proven. Briefly, I explained the concept and what to do in such cases. If you would like to get familiar with the content based on which this protocol was implemented, you are welcome to read the part one and two of the article published in the Journal of Massage Science.
Certainly, it was terrible to witness a man punching his girlfriend as well as seeing her lifeless body dragged out of the elevator, and I absolutely understand the resulting emotional outcry and the reaction of the media.
Yet, I felt this incident required much deeper investigation before everybody automatically assumed the case of a violent domestic abuse. To me, Ray appeared as a post brain trauma person in need of treatment and rehabilitation. If he would be treated appropriately, most likely we wouldn’t see what we saw.
Since that time, during the last three years already, I am expanding my practice and specializing in post-concussion rehabilitation.
It just the harsh and unpleasant reality that in the US car accidents spawn pandemic post-concussion encephalopathies phenomena. The treatment of car accidents became somewhat of an industry; that’s not even considering concussions, just counting in headaches and neck pain after accidents. A very high percentage of people who was involved in car accidents and sustained even mild misdiagnosed concussion could suffer from chronic headaches, bad quality of sleep, which with time develops into different levels of dementia, or even Alzheimer’s disease.
Of course, I’m making a pretty significant claim, but this is what I see in my practice. Maybe we don’t see the massive phenomenon of psychiatric behavioral disorders because not many people receiving repeated concussions, but many suffer from other post-concussion symptoms of brain dysfunction.
During my long career, I learned, practiced, and taught more than 60 medical massage protocols. Yet this October 8/9th it was the first time when I have presented post-concussion massage protocol seminar. I was very excited, and I would say, it was my best seminar ever.
What was amazing to me, and still is, was the fact that medical massage protocols are not only extremely powerful when treating back and limp disorders, but also its application can prevent brain dysfunctions such as psychiatric behavioral disorders, dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, movement disorders, headaches and more. The word “amazing” is related to medical massage scientific and clinically proven power.
Now I would like to come back to the injustice to Ray Rice. It was job-related trauma, and now he is condemned?
Please read these case presentation
If not for medical massage, this person possibly could demonstrate psychiatric behavioral disorder.
>At the time of significant autonomic irregularity and brain dysfunction, moderate irritation can trigger irrational and even dangerous behavior. I believe NFL and the movement that made Ray Rice’s a scapegoat owe him an apology and a financial compensation.
>On a separate note, in a way, I am happy that Ray Rice was forced to stop playing football because he surely would get more brain trauma and if not properly rehabilitated, he could end up like Mohammed Ali, rest in peace.
On the other hand, if in the early stages of concussion Mohammed Ali would have been rehabilitated from the post-concussion brain dysfunctions, he possibly could survive, become healthy again and even continue boxing. I mentioned in my previous article that the boxer Valeri Popenchenko continued to box after having a similar to Mohammad Ali brain trauma. He even won an Olympian gold and pursued his scientific career in physics.
We are happy to announce that Boris’
New instructional DVD,
presenting the role of medical massage in post-concussion rehabilitation is now available!
For more detailed description
please follow the link in the description
Post-Concussion Patient Testimonial
Below is a testimonial of my patient. For confidentiality purposes, let’s call him Paul and let’s call a referring neurologist Dr. Smith. By the way, in November this neurologist planned to do a presentation of this case at a big neurological forum. I will keep you updated. In addition to this case, he will present four more cases of post-concussion rehabilitation I have successfully accomplished.
The last three years I have successfully treated many patients and couldn’t stop being amazed at their transformations to a normal life. Not less importantly, in connection with concussion cases, I am discovering unique facts. According to professor Dembo, during nine months after a concussion, unless hibernated neurons are not fully resurrected to a normal function, the degenerative stage will become not reversible and, in time, it results in further non-reversible degeneration and death of neurons/brain cells.
The uniqueness of the case that I am about to present is in the fact that concussion was originally misdiagnosed, and yet even two years later all the tests, couldn’t support brain dysfunction. Most likely if this neurologist wouldn’t think clinically and act fast, this person would have been prescribed medications including and not limited to antipsychotic medication. In such case I can say with certainty, he’d never have his life back. When I saw him the first time, it looked very bad, producing an impression of a mental case.
Another unique feature, in this case, is in the fact that symptoms of encephalopathies, appeared two years after the concussion. Having in mind that in the majority of cases symptoms of encephalopathies appear during six months after the concussion, I believe all that we know today about this problem is only a tip of the iceberg.
The post-concussions brain dysfunction is a much larger issue than limited to American football and other contact sports only. The more I research the more I come to the conclusion that car accidents are a major contributor to this pandemics of chronic headaches, memory loss, psychiatric behavioral disorders, movement disorders and more, following by prescriptions/ consumptions of antidepressant, antianxiety, and antipsychotic medications, including many occurrences of a suicidal outcome.
Please read the testimonial below and post your comments questions, share your personal experiences.
My name is Paul and I am a Mountain Biker. In October of 2013, I crashed and was knocked unconscious, separated my collarbone, cracked two ribs, etc. I was a mess. I was wearing a helmet at least. I woke to a man I didn’t know on the trail who helped me gather myself and I walked with him down the mountain to my car.
We talked the whole way and the birds in my head started to lift. He felt I was making sense and I proceeded to drive home. When I got home I called my Doctor and spoke with him at length and he felt I didn’t need to go to Emergency because I was making sense, but that he would see me the following day. He alerted me that if I got a headache, started vomiting or started to not make sense to get to an ER –ASAP, but none of that surfaced that evening. He did see me the next day and checked me out and determined it would just take time and rest for all of my ailments combined to subside.
Never having had a major head injury, I had no gauge as what to expect from the recovery. My shoulder and ribs healed and from what I was experiencing I felt my head injury improved and had healed?
…Time passed and by the summer of 2015 I had started to notice a strange feeling on the side of my head where I had hit it. It wasn’t overwhelming just a feeling that if I thought of it, I would be aware of a sensation in my brain, like constant intracranial pressure. Again, not having had a major head injury, I thought things like this would pass… all I knew was that before the crash I had no physical feeling like it?
At first, I noticed my typing changing and I was making many mistakes, misspelling simple words like; the and thanks, etc. Then, my thoughts started to get scrambled, I found myself losing a train of thought mid-sentence when speaking. As a teacher, it started to really scare me. I had some interesting conversations with my wife where I would insert subjects into a conversation that we were having that were completely off topic.
While riding my bike, my peripheral vision seemed strange and confined and depth of field was odd. I wondered if this was early onset of Alzheimer’s? So, I went to see my doctor and he suggested that this is probably related to the crash but I should see a Neurologist. That is when I met Dr. Smith. I described everything and he performed tests in his office including EEG and in the next days a CAT scan and MRI.
All of those tests come back normal but he still felt the symptom’s I was experiencing were the result of my crash. He suggested that I go see Boris Prilutsky who specializes in Medical and Sports Massage, particularly with patients that have suffered head injuries.
I worked with Boris initially seeing him twice a week for 5 weeks. After the very first session, just walking from his office across the parking lot to my car I felt much less intracranial pressure and incredible clarity and lift in my head. I looked forward to our next session, slowly the fog started to lift.
Boris explained to me, that special massage techniques for acceleration of lymphatic as well as cerebral spinal fluid drainage, leading immediately to this relief sensation, but most important he said, this increasing much-needed cerebral circulation. We tapered off the sessions to first once a week, then twice a month and now I see him once a month for maintenance.
Now, I have been symptom-free since I started working with him. It was only after Dr. Smith’s suggestion to see Boris and his specialized work and field of expertise that I was able to recover. I have many, many thanks to passing his way for the way I feel today, clear-eyed.
We are happy to announce that Boris’
New instructional DVD,
presenting the role of medical massage in post-concussion rehabilitation is now available!
For more detailed description
please follow the link in the description
The History of medical massage
It goes back to the 19th century, when British physician Dr. Head published, his, what we now call, Head’s zones. During a very long time, observing hundreds of patients, Dr. Head paid attention that in many cases of chronic internal organs diseases, skin within somatic distal components, develop changes in a form of higher skin density, a local low threshold of pain, etc. The great clinical value of his observation soon became apparent. When he performed skin massage in these areas he not only eliminated these abnormalities in the skin but also have had a tremendous healing impact on diseased internal organs. As far as I know, Dr. Head was the first one who have established visceral somatic reflex concept as well as somatovisceral reflex concept, which allowed to professor Sherback in 1937 to go further and to develop the concept and hands-on techniques of segment reflex massage as we practice it today. There is no doubt that Professor Zabludovsly (1913) remarkably advanced massage therapy as a powerful clinical tool and, I would say, that in many cases, it became the most powerful methodology for treatment.
Professor Zabludovsly (1913) was the first one who explained the reflex effect on arterial circulation in non-massaged extremity. The phenomenon was confirmed later by many experimental and clinical studies (Guthberson, 1933; Ebel and Wisham, 1952; Belaya, 1974; Shtergertz, 1985, etc.)
In 2003, at Beverly laboratory of Vascular Studies, I repeated Professor Zabludovsly’s protocol. In Medical Massage Vol.2 text, Dr.Ross Turchaninov extended on this experiment. We have provided him with all post-experimental data. In fact, a qualified massage therapist can reproduce the same outcome every time. To study this 15-25 minute protocol is simpler than studying many other simple step-by-step hands-on medical massage protocols.
The Beverly laboratory of Vascular Studies in California examined the effect of medical massage therapy on arterial blood circulation in lower extremities of healthy adults by using Pulse Volume Recording (PVR), Photoplethysmology (PPG) and Thermography (TMG). All these tests measured blood circulation on the opposite lower extremity, i.e. practitioners worked on the left extremity while circulation was measured on the right extremity. Peripheral circulation was measured before the experiment and after application of medical massage. Major changes were registered in PVR, which is a pulsate volume of perfusion through the extremity.
Let’s briefly review the results of this study. Initial PVR registered on the right lower extremity was 0.81. After this parameter was registered, a medical massage practitioner applied the treatment of the lower extremity for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes of medical massage, PVR increased to 1.22 and continued to climb during the next 2 hours after the medical massage was over. At the end of the second hour, PVR value was 1.63, i.e. blood perfusion through the contralateral lower extremity showed a double increase even after the medical massage was over.
This study is a great example of the valuable effect of medical massage on the peripheral blood circulation (Prilutsky, 2003). This is why patients with arterial circulation disturbances respond so well to medical massage.
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of contralateral extremities massage, in cases of fractures, surgeries, and significant other types of injuries when we cannot apply massage technique directly to the injured area. More than that, at the time of the experiment described above, my models agreed to wait only two hours in order, to allow us to perform PVR measurements. Two hours after the stopping treatment, it continued to increase PVR.
Back in the Soviet Union, we have repeated described protocols many times, and the reflex of increasing blood supply is sustained for an average of 15-18 hours. Isn’t this exciting? The stimulation by massage is already stopped, but during 15-18 hours after it is stopped, the body continues intensive healing! Remember after significant blood supply increase, abnormalities never come back to initial conditions, but after every treatment continues to improve.
The importance of tension build-up in the connective tissue/fascia and its impact on chronic somatic and visceral abnormalities, initially, was made known to the medical community through the work of Austrian physical therapist Elizabeth Dickle in 1929. As with many important discoveries, Dickle’s discovery was an accidental find. For several years, she suffered a failure of arterial circulation in her lower extremities as a result of Thromboangiitis Obliterans. The disease had progressed to the stage when amputation became a real possibility. Dickle also experienced chronic, lower-back pain caused by her limping. While rubbing her lower back in trying to relieve tension, she noticed sensations of warmth and weak pulsations in her feet. Intrigued by her finding, she started using various techniques on her lower back. She noticed that the most intense warm sensations in her feet were triggered when she pulled the skin on her lower back. After several months of self-therapy, she was able to restore circulation through her lower extremities and prevented double amputation. Powerful stuff.
Dickle shared her findings with Prof. W. Kohlrausch. Their combined efforts, as well as the later works of Prof. N. Veil and Dr. Luebe in Austrian and German clinics, shaped a major method of somatic rehabilitation they called Bidegewebsmassage or connective tissue massage/fascia release and mobilization techniques as it is known by the rest of the world.
During the extensive research, they developed connective tissue massage/fascia release and mobilization hands-on protocols, including the stipulation regarding the direction of movement. This was presented in a straightforward way so that thousands of massage therapists could learn these techniques and, successfully, implement them on patients. Thousands were replicating outcomes when treating back and limp disorders, internal organ diseases, etc. for more information just Google Bidegewebsmassage.
The work of Prof. Sherback, which is an absolutely fundamental plateau for medical massage, is also a fundamental groundwork for any massage therapy. Today, the concepts that lay the foundation of his works were tested and massively utilized for many years, and thus proved their clinical viability.
After analyzing all the available data, and experiences of other scientists and clinicians, Prof. Sherback started checking somatic components of chronically unhealthy patients.
He figured out that regardless of the disorder type (being it skeletal muscular disorders or internal organs diseases) skin, fascia and muscles develop changes such as higher density of skin, tension in fascia and muscles.
The aforementioned changes produce pain when compressed and, in many cases, form localizations that are painful regardless of compression. Then a revelation come to him – “a simple revelation” as he put it that made massage a very powerful therapeutic tool.
All diseases of internal organs project pathological impulses on somatic parts that share the same level of innervations with a particular somatic part and trigger changes such as higher density of skin, tension within muscles, fascia, etc. forming reflex zones abnormalities/ somatovisceral reflex. The aforementioned changes in soft tissue can be painful and especially sensitive to touch or pressure.
The most important achievement of his and his students was that, by providing massage and eliminating these reflex zones abnormal changes, they improved the health of thousands of patients.
Another huge plateau was established by Drs. Glaser and Delixo after the tremendous work. In 1955, they published segments reflex massage text, including more than 30 maps of reflex zones abnormalities, for individual internal organs diseases, as well as for skeletal muscular diseases.
The contribution that prof. Sherback and Drs. Glezer and Delixo made to the development of massage science was indisputable and their influence is hard to overestimate. Similarly, it is impossible to overestimate the contribution of Dr. Sarkisov Serazini, who proposed comprehensive physiological effect of massage approach in 1938 and have established the concept of the physiological effect of massage as we know it today. This foundation allowed further generations of researchers to develop over 60 medical and sports massage hands-on protocols. Thus, the methodical research was done, and optimal step-by-step hands-on techniques were developed, all of which were standing on the foundation of the physiological effect of massage. Here is the link to a short description of the physiological effect of massage. Physiological effect of massage on the human body
During his experimental clinical research Dr.Sarkisov Serazini said:
”…if you would like to assess the professional capability of a massage therapist, you must assess his capability to perform high-quality kneading techniques. Many different components are necessary in order to achieve rapid and sustainable results, and the quality of kneading techniques is one of this important components.”
Medical massage contains technical disciplines such as connective tissue massage/fascia release and mobilization, muscular mobilizations, trigger point therapy, circulatory massage, and more. This was my fundamental training in theoretical concepts as well as very intensive hands-on practice. As you can see no secrets what so ever.
Drs. Glezer and Delixo’s segment reflex massage text, have never been translated into English. Here comes a million dollar question. If hasn’t been translated into English, can it still be scientific? Incidentally, it has been translated into Russian, German, Polish, and Hungarian.
By the way, Dr. Ross Turchaninov’s textbooks in English, covers the works of all the scientists I have mentioned above, including interpretation of science of massage. I believe this book presents more than 600 references.
A very interesting observation on post-concussion patient
Approximately 50 days ago I received a post-concussion patient who was 56 years old male. He experienced a severe concussion, lost conscious, paramedics brought him to ER and was hospitalized for five days, demonstrating classical symptoms of a severe concussion. His doctor trusted me enough to refer him for my care a week after the incident. By my recommendation, the doctor tested his autonomic activities and, as it was predicted, it showed irregularities of autonomic activities. Once upon a time, doctors used a tilt table to administer an autonomic test. Today technology allowed much more precise tests.
During the first ten treatments, it became obvious, objectively and subjectively, that the patient’s condition has improved. He experienced fewer headaches, displayed improved focus, could sleep better, etc.
A repeated test, after ten treatments, showed improvements from the point of view of irregular autonomic activities. After completion of fifteen treatments, I have discharged him for two weeks.
Actually, Prof. Dembo believed that in order to sustain results the first 15 treatments should be followed by a two-week break. Then after the next 15 treatments a 3 weeks break, should be followed by the final 15 treatments. This approach was implemented while providing in treatments for back and limb disorders and for concussion cases. Giving to the fact that Professor Dembo mainly worked with Olympians, who were engaged in extremely vigorous and demanding training, this approach was necessary.
When it comes to “regular” people, those who are not subjected to an extreme physical strain and in cases of concussions, I believe that in order to sustain results, i.e. to prevent brain dysfunction developments, the frame of 30 treatments is sufficient.
In a case of sports-related injuries, providing we are not talking about professional athletes or Olympians, 15 treatments are sufficient as well.
Unfortunately, during the two weeks of break, a patient subjected to another trauma. Once during a strong wind, while attempting to close the door of his house, the patient was struck on his head by the door. He didn’t lose consciously, but by all means sustained a second concussion. A repeated concussion is considered to be even more damaging than the original one. To understand why repeated concussions inflicting, even more, damage please review this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okv-F-55tFE
Naturally, all the post-concussion symptoms came back. The test showed significant irregularities of autonomic activities. Thus, again we had to start from the square one. Little by little 5 treatments helped him and he started feeling better. In the course of this series of 15 treatments, exactly like during the first series of 15 treatments, during each 40-45 minutes treatment, two or three times I performed the test reflecting autonomic activities.
The name of this test is Dermographism. Dr.Ross Turchaninov, can you please post an explanation. For me, this is significant effort to type with one finger LOL.
This is quite a reliable test, allowing to assess sympathetic in parasympathetic domination. By changing the technical approach we practically can suppress sympathetic activities and, in some cases, to suppress parasympathetic activities.
Of course, the final goal is during numerous treatments is to balance sympathetic in parasympathetic activities and as much as possible.
This time around my patient complained that after the second concussion he experienced a lot of discomfort in his stomach. His doctor recommended to eat less acidic food, but in any case, he wasn’t feeling well.
During the first five treatments, every 15 minutes Dermographism test showed significant irregular autonomic activities. At the same time, in the course of the last five treatment, Dermographism test provided the evidence of an increase in parasympathetic activities. The last five treatment I performed with a pre-event sports massage type of intensity. Usually, Dermographism test shows some improvement after this type of massage. I understood that post-concussion is a complicated condition and didn’t expect significant changes in the test. Suddenly I’ve gotten a startling idea to perform an abdominal massage. As soon as I started introductory part of it the patient started a non-stop burping! He tried to apologize, but I assured him that this was a positive reaction and encouraged him to continue burping and not worry about anything.
I continued my usual routine of abdominal massage, with the difference that I started from anterior wall/abdominal cavity. He burped nonstop during 10 minutes, and then suddenly stopped. I have continued to massage for an additional 10 minutes and then just compelled by my intuition, performed for 10 minutes of Manchurian acupressure.
My client said: ”Boris, you’ve released something.” I answered “Whatever works” and immediately I felt a bit exhausted but very relieved.
I repeated Dermographism test. Amazingly, it showed close to normal autonomic activities.
I hope Dr. Ross is available and will explain the principles of Dermographism test.
Now, let me share my thoughts about what happened. However, first please view this video, where three neurologists explaining autonomic dysfunction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pka7nhDKA3U
I believe that this intensive changes in activities were caused by smooth muscle constrictions and dysfunction within peristaltic. Subsequently, this peristaltic insufficiency fueled parasympathetic activities, as well as, discomfort within the stomach.
Fellow members, he has gotten better, I would say much better after the first and then the following few abdominal / visceral massage procedures. Dr. Ross and others, do you have any explanation, for frequent intensive burping, and then significant improvement including plus minus normal Dermographism test? I am curious to know.
Most importantly, of course, is that my client has gotten significantly better. By the way, when I treated the first concussion he didn’t complain about stomach discomfort and has gotten much better without abdominal / visceral massage. This experience is just another proof that we must approach each case individually.
Again, just curious to know opinions. Ross, please, find the time.
Another interesting point. Lately, I’m being referred many concussion patients. I didn’t include an abdominal massage, and all went well, I achieved the results. However, from now on, I will include abdominal massage as a part of my massage protocol for concussions, just in case. It cannot harm but can help. There is always a room for improvement.
Members who have rented major rehabilitation from concussion massage protocol,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkDgkp9Z0D4&feature=iv&src_vid=okv-F-55tFE&annotation_id=annotation_1661581881 please contact us and we will send you a link to abdominal visceral massage hands-on video.
During the next couple of days when time will permit, my partner will include abdominal visceral massage video, within concussion instructional rental.
We are happy to announce that Boris’
New instructional DVD,
presenting the role of medical massage in post-concussion rehabilitation is now available!
For more detailed description
please follow the link in the description
Out of scope of practice or just politics Part 3
History of the Soviet Medical and Sports Massage.
|As explained in Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog the science of Soviet Medical Massage was originally developed by Professor Anatoli Sherbak in the nineteen-thirties as well as my Dr.Serazini, who was internationally recognized as a father of modern sports massage. In the nineteen fifties, these developments were expanded by German scientists Drs. Glezer and Dalicho. Later in the sixties and seventies, many scientists of the former Soviet bloc countries contributed to this development. They were, for instance, Soviet scientists like professor Dembo, professor Popilyansky, Dr.Chernich, professor Kremer, the Bulgarian scientist professor Ivanov, Prof Anichkin, Prof.Belaya, and many, many more. Yet, little or close to nothing of the Medical and Sports Massage protocols, that was improving sports performances, was known in the West. Although the large research institutions were involved in the Medical and Sports Massage studies, their developments were kept in strict secrecy. The secrecy was guaranteed by the mighty Soviet secret service organization KGB.
KGB or the Committee of Government Security, to some degree, was similar to the confluence of two American organizations FBI and CIA. Except for that American citizens rarely get involved with either of these organizations as it’s primary goal is to counteract internal and external foes of the United States. In the Soviet Union, one careless word or a risky joke could not only end one’s career but also make him or her a foreign spy – the enemy of the Soviet people and thus being tortured, sent to GULAG or killed. Therefore no one in Russia messed with KGB, which enabled it to keep any information as secret as the Communist Party wanted it to be. In this particular case, the secrecy was overseen by the influential member of the central Communist Committee comrade Suslov personally.
The reason for such secrecy was substantial. During the “Cold War,” Soviet propaganda always tried to portray the Soviet system and the Soviet way of life as superior to the one adopted by the West. It even came up with the myth of a special new “Soviet Person”, the carrier of the advanced Soviet mentality, which allegedly was far superior to a mentality of a Western person.
In order to somehow substantiate this myth, the Soviet propaganda utilized any Olympic sports and the dominance of the Soviet bloc athletes, especially of the USSR and Eastern Germany during Olympic Games in the sixties, seventies, and eighties.
It would be essential to point out much greater longevity of the Soviet bloc athletes compared to their Western counterparts. The vast majority of the Soviet bloc athletes were competitive for ten to fifteen years. The real secret of such longevity was the elaborate system of pre-event and post-event rehabilitative Sports massage and the proper warm-up procedure; a sequence of special exercises including neuromuscular re-education that ensured that all the muscles of the responsible regions work in assembly and in the neurological sense. Such powerful scientifically based methods made verifies that joints are stable enough to withstand huge competitive loads and to perform to the maximum physiological potential of individual athletes.
All that changed during the time of Gorbachev’s “perestroika” – restructuring of the Soviet economy – and, subsequently, during the time when the Soviet system has fallen apart. The scientific institutions that for decades were supported financially by the Soviet Government, regardless of their actual profitability, were suddenly left without any funding and, thus, quickly disintegrated.
The impressive body of knowledge accumulated by decades of arduous work by talented scientists was literally abandoned. That’s why, paradoxically, the only people who could carry the torch of knowledge in the Russian Medical and Sports Massage were those who have emigrated from the Soviet Union at the time and prior to “perestroika.”
In the institution where I worked in 1963, a military faculty was organized, which was preparing military sports instructors, thus making it a military PO. Box. The research was conducted under strict secrecy, and practitioners who were trained were obligated to keep this secrecy and knew that those protocols were a secret product of the Communist party. Perhaps, for those who lived in the free world, the threat of KGB will be difficult to comprehend, but we all knew too well that messing around with KGB was a bad idea. It was too serious.
The Soviet government used to keep secrecy only for massage protocols that substantially improved athletic performances. The other medical massage research papers, including hands-on massage protocols, such as fibromyalgia and many other ones were available (see the link below)
As I know, today post-concussion rehabilitation protocols and some others were published. I remember very well how our bosses used to gloat regarding the fact that Medical Massage for visceral and skeletal muscular diseases in no case was of interest in America as the US was under complete control of the pharmaceutical industry. What was kept in strict secrecy, were post-event sports massage protocols like the one attempted to develop by the Western Experts below:
The possibility of speeding up the athlete’s recovery by massage captured the attention of Western European and American scientists working in the field of Sports Medicine. However, authors of numerous studies in different centers mostly concluded that massage does not have any significant impact on the process of recovery after maximal exercises (Drews, et al., 1990; Carfarelli, et al., 1990; Rodenberg, et al., 1994; Tiidus, et al., 1995; Gupta, et al., 1996, and more). All these studies were conducted by very responsible scientists and published in respected professional journals.
After studying the above report in detail and many others similar to this one, I realized why there was such a discrepancy in the results. The time of treatment here plays a crucial role. All Western articles, which reported about the failure of massage therapy to speed up the recovery process, had the same striking similarity. Despite a truly scientific approach to the evaluation of treatment and its duration, these studies neglected to follow the proper protocol: TIME OF THE TREATMENT and DURATION.
Cafarell, et al., 1990 immediately after exercise 4 min
Drews, 1990 immediately after exercise 30 min
Wenos, et. al., 1990 48 hours after exercise N/A
Rodenberg, et al., 1994,15 minutes after exercise 15 min
Tiidus, 1995 48 hours after exercise 10 min
Gupta, 1996 48 hours after exercise 10 min
After numerous experiments, the Soviet scientists concluded that massage has to be initiated no earlier than 2-2.5 hours after vigorous exercises. Further, in my further discussion, I’ll be referring to this essential consideration.
Only one published article on this subject puts everything in the correct perspective. In this study, a group of North Carolina and Virginia authors (Smith, L.L et al., 1994) formulated a protocol based on that of Russian scientists, proving its value. Prof. Smith, L.L et al., 1994) even wrote, I followed recommendations of Soviet scientists and, evidently, discovered the importance of a rehabilitative massage.
It so happens that I personally know and know very well the Soviet scientist, who in 1993, secretly wrote a research massage protocol for Prof. Smith on a piece of paper. Even at that time, Soviet citizens used to be afraid of disclosure.
According to the Soviet protocol, authors examined the effect of massage on delayed onset of muscle soreness, and creatine kinase (an enzyme indicator of muscle damage) and neutrophil (an inflammatory white blood cell) count. It is noteworthy, the authors adjusted their experimental protocol according to the practical recommendations of the Russian scientist who was also a massage therapist. These authors considered that vigorous exercises damage muscular tissue with the development of aseptic (noninfectious) inflammation and interstitial edema. The body reacts to these events by mobilizing neutrophils to the affected area. Neutrophils enter tissues and start their cleaning job (i.e., phagocytosis) to remove the waste products produced by the muscular injury and inflammation. Their increased concentration also attracts other types of phagocytic cells, macrophages. In the process of phagocytosis, catabolic enzymes are released from neutrophils, additionally damaging already injured muscular fibers. Dr. Smith and associates, through their research, noticed that two major events indirectly support this theory: temporary reduction of neutrophil count and increased concentration of creatine kinase in local blood vessels, and their following migration into soft tissues as critical elements responsible for the long-lasting muscle soreness after vigorous exercises. This study showed that this process precisely matches the 2-hour time limit after vigorous exercise.
This is what Smith, et al., had to say in their conclusion:
“During acute inflammation, blood flow slows as vessels dilate in an area of injury. When this occurs, the white blood cells, including neutrophils, are displaced from the central, axial zone of blood flow to the peripheral, plasmatic zone and subsequently marginate along the vessel walls. Since sports massage appears to increase blood flow through the vascular bed, we theorized that this increased flow rate in the area of microtrauma could prevent the typical outward displacement of neutrophils. In addition, we speculated that the mechanical action of sports massage could shear marginated cells from vessel walls and thus hinder emigration of cells from the circulation into tissues spaces. …control group exhibiting a more rapid and steeper increase CK (i.e. creatine kinase) values than the massage group. …sports massage rendered hours after termination of unaccustomed eccentric exercise reduces the intensity of delayed onset muscle soreness and reduces serum creatine kinase levels.”
Delayed onset muscle soreness might sound innocent. Yet phagocytosis actually injures healthy muscles, and when it happens repeatedly, it makes muscles weaker disabling them from performing at their maximum potential, as well as preconditions them for injury. As a part of the Soviet training regime, Olympians practiced until their heart rate would reach 205 to 220 times per minute. Imagine what kind of physical athletes had to perform if their resting heart rate was 40 to 45 times per minute.
The workouts of such intensity could produce substantial damage to muscles unless two hours later athletes would undergo post-event rehabilitative sports massage. This treatment cannot be viewed as a shock absorber, for additional damages by phagocytosis, but as a preventive effort against additional injuries. Working with Olympian teams, I, as well as other therapists in our group, used to restore the local blood supply in muscles immediately, preventing the development of fascia tension, as well as restoring normal functions of organs and systems. Briefly, I’m talking about this in my article that, amusingly, was published in Massage Magazine.
Below I included the references to this article.
Smith, L.L., Keating, M.N., Holbert, D., Spratt, D.S., McCammon, M.R., Smith, S.S., Israel, R.G.: The Effect of Athletic Massage of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Creatine Kinase and Neutrophil Count: Preliminary report. J. Orthp. Sports Phys. Ther., 19(2): 93-99, 1994.
Luckily for “Sports Recovery and Performance Enhancement” all the references to this work were by the Western Experts.
Another important aspect of the sports recovery paradigm is referred to in the following snippet.
Working in the “Inhibitory Regime” (massaging while gradually increasing pressure), we awaken reflexes to the original stimuli. These are expressed in vasodilation (reduction of peripheral vascular resistance, reduction of left cardiac work, etc.) As a matter of fact, with Post-Event Sports-Massage, we also prevent the enlargement of the heart muscles (hypertrophy), balance the biomechanics that prevents sports-related injuries, as well as improve the performance of the athlete.
The above article uses proper protocols is what makes the difference between proper and improper utilization of Sports Massage. Scientifically-proven protocols are designed through extensive research and thorough analysis of data on efficacy and safety of any treatment. Post-Event Sports Massage contains important methods used to improve the performance of athletes, rehabilitate from exercise stress, eliminate side effects, and prevent sports-related injuries.
I hope I don’t end up sounding like a boaster. In reality, I am a very humble man. I just happen to be in the right place at the right time and, as a result, I was exposed to the amazing source of knowledge, which, by a freak of current, got abandoned and dried up.
All my life, I was trying to popularize this knowledge, make it available to everybody, and especially at the place of my new motherland that was so good for me and my family. I did what I could, what was within my physical, mental and financial abilities and now I am not a young man. I made 22 DVDs describing protocols of Medical Massage. I hope this contribution of mine would be rightly understood despite my less than perfect English.
For a detailed discussion of all the protocols discussed above please follow the link below.
I also highly recommend purchasing medical massage texts by Dr.Ross Turchaninov
This is what I wrote about him and his works.