The Effects of Massage and Cupping Therapy on Blood Lactate, Heart Rate and Mood State in Professional Football Players

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Sulukkana Noiprasert, Phitchapa Konthasing, Akarat Sivaphongthongchai, Dhammika Leshan Wannigama, Parichart Hongsing, Marisa Poomiphak Na Nongkhai


Football is classified as anaerobic physical activity which undergo anaerobic glycolysis that tends to increase lactate production, resulting in muscle fatigue. The struggle to function of muscle leads to physical and mental issues in the football players. Massage and cupping therapy are soft tissue manipulation, which provide physiological and psychological benefits for the athletes. Thus, investigation of massage and cupping therapy as rehabilitative interventions in sports made it interesting in this study. Fifteen male professional football players volunteered for this study. The randomized crossover trial was adopted to investigate the effect of recovery interventions (cupping therapy, massage and rest) on blood lactate clearance, heart rate and mood state. After maximal anaerobic physical activity, the participants were randomly assign to receive each recovery intervention. The examinations of blood lactate and heart rate were carried out for each test session. Similarly, the Profile of Mood States questionnaire was used to measure mood state after receiving the interventions. There were significant main effects (p<0.05) for heart rate reduction in massage and cupping therapy groups at 10 and 20 min, while blood lactate clearance exhibited the significant reduction (p<0.05) at 20 min post recovery time. No significant difference was found between each interventions in six dimensions of mood state; however, slightly higher score was found in vigor, a positive mood state in massage and cupping therapy groups compared to rest. These findings provide a clinical evidence about post-recovery utilizing massage and cupping therapy manipulate blood lactate clearance, heart rate and mood states in professional football players.

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