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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/695

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THE ACTION OF MASSAGE UPON THE MUSCLES.

ings of fatigue; and the same result was obtained when the electric current in place of the will was used to tire the muscles.

5. As the result of general fatigue, the muscles of the hand were also tried in an indirect manner. Prof. Maggiora, after a walk of ten miles, to which he was not accustomed, took a tracing of the fatigue curves of the right and left middle fingers as before, and found that they were only capable of doing one fourth as much work as when he was rested. After massage for ten minutes they were so much temporarily rested that they did nearly a normal amount of work and gave nearly a normal tracing. The work probably would have been equal to normal had it not been for the superadded fatigue of taking the fatigue tracing half an hour before the massage; for it has been found that the muscles of the middle finger when tired by contractions with three kilogrammes every two seconds require about two hours' rest in order to give normal fatigue tracings every two hours during the day.

6. The effect of massage upon muscles weakened by loss of sleep was also inspected. In muscular fatigue from fasting rest alone does not restore them, and in fatigue from wakefulness nourishment alone affords no appreciable relief. After the loss of a night's sleep the fatigue curve was taken and found to be very small, but after ten minutes of massage it was temporarily restored to a natural curve, which could not be obtained on previous occasions by rest nor by nerve tonics alone.

7. Intense and prolonged intellectual work produces a state of general lassitude. After the final examination of twenty medical students, which lasted for five hours. Prof. Maggiora was much exhausted. He then took a fatigue curve of flexion of the middle fingers of both hands. This was only about one fifth normal. Half an hour later, after ten minutes of massage, the number of contractions was little less than natural, and might have reached natural-but for the fatigue induced by the preceding experiment.

8. After a slight attack of fever of ten hours' duration the muscles were weak the whole of the following day, but after massage the aptitude for work was increased so that the contractions of the fingers gave almost a natural tracing of fatigue.

9. The effect of massage upon anæmic muscles was most interesting. Dr. Maggiora demonstrated that anemia for a short time—from three to five minutes—produces phenomena in muscles similar to fatigue; or, in other words, lessens their vigor and resistance to work. Compression of his brachial artery was made for three minutes, and at the end of this time, while the compression was still maintained, a fatigue tracing was taken and found to be very small, the finger contracting only eleven times. Two hours later the brachial artery was again compressed for three minutes, and at the same time the forearm was subjected to mas-