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How Massage Therapy Impacts Recovery in WHOOP Members

June 14, 2023

Massage therapy is one of the most popular Recovery activities amongst WHOOP Members, but is it effective? Discover its impact and how you might compare. 

the benefits of massage therapy

Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years as a trusted tool for relieving pain and improving overall wellness. There are many different types and styles of massage such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Sports Massage, that address a wide range of concerns like inflammation, muscle pain, soreness, and stiffness. 

One study on massage therapy proved that after just 10 minutes of massage, delayed-onset muscle soreness was reduced by approximately 30%. Another study found that cortisol levels (stress hormone) dropped by 31% after receiving a massage. For people with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, researchers found that massage therapy (if continued for at least 5 weeks) helped improve pain, anxiety, and depression. 

How do WHOOP Members compare?

Timing Matters

For WHOOP members who reported massage therapy closer to bedtime, they saw a 1% positive impact on their Recovery. For members who reported massage therapy further away from bedtime, they saw a 0.6% impact. This can most likely be explained by the relaxing nature of massage, which helps members unwind and prepare for bed. 

Massage Therapy & Your Recovery

Previously, WHOOP members could only log massage therapy in their Journal – now, members can track both their heart rate and stress levels during their massage when they log it as a Recovery Activity. To do this, just tap the (+) button then select ‘Start Activity’ to log a Recovery Activity in the moment, or select ‘Add Activity’ to log one that you’ve already finished.

Tap into that activity on your home screen and drag your finger across the stress and heart rate charts for minute-by-minute data. See the impact Recovery Activities like massage therapy have on your body so you can make an even better choice when it comes to planning (or skipping) your next massage. 

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