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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/694

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

were similar to the first series, and showed that it takes much longer to fatigue the muscles by contraction from electrical irritation after massage than before.[1]

2. The next series of experiments were undertaken with a view to determine whether the beneficial effects of mixed massage (friction, percussion, and kneading) increased in proportion to the duration of its application. At 8 a. m. the normal fatigue curve was taken, then every two hours and a quarter after this the curve was taken, having been preceded by two, five, ten, and fifteen minutes of massage of the right and left middle fingers and their corresponding muscles in the forearm. Ten fatigue tracings were thus taken, and the result showed that with five minutes of massage all the useful effect that could be produced was obtained. When the massage was continued longer, for ten or fifteen minutes, there were but slight variations in the amount of work above and below that after five minutes. Similar experiments were made in which electricity was used to tire the muscles in place of voluntary flexion, and the same result was obtained.

3. The object of the next series of experiments was to ascertain the effects of the principal maneuvers of massage—friction, percussion, and pétrissage, or kneading. The mode of procedure was as before: first, the normal fatigue tracing was taken; then at regular intervals during the day, every two hours, the fatigue curve was inscribed after five minutes of friction or effleurage, after five minutes of percussion, after five minutes of pétrissage, and finally after five minutes of friction, percussion, and petrissage alternating. The results showed that there was very little difference in the work that could be accomplished after five minutes of friction as compared with five minutes of percussion. But there was a great increase in the number and strength of the contractions after pétrissage. The best effect, however, was obtained after the alternations of all three. (It would be interesting to reproduce the tables and tracings if space allowed.) Like results were obtained when the contractions were produced by electricity applied to the median nerve or to the muscles directly, and the friction, percussion, and pétrissage employed separately and alternately.

4. The effects of massage upon muscles weakened from various causes were also studied in the same exact manner by Dr. Maggiora. Upon muscles weakened from fasting the effect of massage was to restore them temporarily, so that they gave normal trac-


  1. I have elsewhere called attention to the fact that after massage muscles give a much more ready, vigorous, and agreeable response to the will and to the faradic current than they do before.—D. G.