Scientific Evidence/Studies

Science/ Studies

BelleCore bodybuffers’ multidirectional oscillating shear forces combined with pulsed vibration result in a significant increase in tissue perfusion/temperature after only 15 seconds of treatment. This short video using Thermal imaging shows how this change in blood flow and temperature in the outer thigh persists and spreads after treatment has ended.


Smith L.L.,   Keating M.N.,   Holbert D,   Spratt D.J.,   Smith S.S.,   
McCammon M.R.,   Israel R.G., (1994)
Effects of Athletic Massage on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, 
Creatine Kinase, and Neutrophil Count.
Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (19, 93-99)



It was hypothesized that athletic massage administered 2 hours after eccentric exercise would disrupt an initial crucial event in acute inflammation, the accumulation of neutrophils. This would result in a diminished inflammatory response and a concomitant reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and serum creatine kinase (CK). Untrained males were randomly assigned to a massage or control group. All performed five sets of isokinetic eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors and extensors. Two hours after exercise, massage subjects received a 30-minute athletic massage; control subjects rested. Delayed onset muscle soreness and CK were assessed before exercise and at 8, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours after exercise. Circulating neutrophils were assessed before and immediately after exercise, and at 30-minute intervals for 8 hours; cortisol was assessed before and immediately after exercise, and at 30-minute intervals for 8 hours; CK was assessed at similar times.


A trend analysis revealed a significant treatment by time interaction effect for:
1. DOMS, with the massage group reporting reduced levels
2. CK, with the massage group displaying reduced levels
3. neutrophils, with the massage group displaying a prolonged elevation and
4. cortisol, with the massage group showing a diminished diurnal reduction.

The results of this study suggest that sports massage will reduce DOMS and CK when administered 2 hours after the termination of eccentric exercise. This may be due to a reduced emigration of neutrophils and/or higher levels of serum cortisol.


Zainuddin, Z.  Newton, M.  Sacco, P.  Nosaka, K. (2005)
Effects of Massage on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, Swelling, 
and Recovery of Muscle Function.
J Athl Train (40, 174-80)



This study tested the hypothesis that massage applied after eccentric exercise would effectively alleviate delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) without affecting muscle function. We used an arm-to-arm comparison model with 2 independent variables (control and massage) and 6 dependent variables (maximal isometric and isokinetic voluntary strength, range of motion, upper arm circumference, plasma creatine kinase activity, and muscle soreness). A 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance and paired t-tests were used to examine differences in changes of the dependent variable over time between control and massage conditions. Ten healthy subjects with no history of upper arm injury and no experience in resistance training, performed 10 sets of 6 maximal isokinetic eccentric actions of the elbow flexors with each arm on a dynamometer, separated by 2 weeks. One arm received 10 minutes of massage 3 hours after eccentric exercise; the contralateral arm received no treatment.


Delayed-onset muscle soreness was significantly less for the massage condition for peak soreness in extending the elbow joint and palpating the brachioradialis muscle. Soreness while flexing the elbow joint and palpating the brachialis muscle was also less with massage. Massage treatment had significant effects on plasma creatine kinase activity, with a significantly lower peak value at 4 days post exercise , and upper arm circumference, with a significantly smaller increase than the control at 3 and 4 days post exercise.


Robertson, A.   Watt, J.M.   Galloway, S.D. (2004)
Effects of Leg Massage on Recovery from High Intensity Cycling Exercise
Br J Sports Med (4, 173-6)



Nine male games players participated. They attended the laboratory on two occasions one week apart and at the same time of day. Dietary intake and activity were replicated for the two preceding days on each occasion. After baseline measurement of heart rate and blood lactate concentration, subjects performed a Standardized warm up on the cycle ergometer. This was followed by six Standardized 30 second high intensity exercise bouts, interspersed with 30 seconds of active recovery. After five minutes of active recovery and either 20 minutes of leg massage or supine passive rest, subjects performed a second Standardized warm up and a 30 second Wingate test. Capillary blood samples were drawn at intervals, and heart rate, peak power, mean power, and fatigue index were recorded.


Significantly lower fatigue index was observed in the massage trial.


Shin, Mai-Soon   Sung, Yun-Hee (2014)
Effects of Massage on Muscular Strength and Proprioception after Exercise Induced Muscle Damage
Br J Sports Med (4, 173-6)
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
post acceptance: Sept 15th 2014  DOI: 10.1519/JSC.688



Subjects were randomly divided into two groups. Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) was induced through repeated exercise. The treatment group received 15 minutes massage by a physiotherapist consisting of light stroking, milking, friction and skin rolling.


The massage treated group was found to have significantly increased muscle activation during contraction of the gastrocnemius muscle (p< 0.05) and significantly greater proprioceptive acuity in the ankle joint (p< 0.05). These findings suggest that massage of the gastrocnemius muscle after EIMD can improve muscle strength and proprioception by influencing the superficial layer of the gastrocnemius.


Other Sources and Published Papers on the Subject include:
  • P Weerapong – 2005 Doctoral Thesis Pre-exercise Strategies: The effects of warm-up, stretching, and massage on symptoms of eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage and performance.
  • Weerapong P, Hume PA, Kolt GS The mechanisms of massage and effects on performance, muscle recovery and injury prevention Sports Med. 2005;35(3):235-56.
  • Hilbert JE et al. The effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness Br J Sports Med 2003; 37:72-75 doi:10.1136/bjsm.37.1.7