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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/696

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sage. At the end of three minutes, the anæmia being kept up, another tracing was taken, and the muscles contracted but nine times, when prevented by fatigue from doing more. Massage has, therefore, no effect upon muscles thus rendered so completely ansemic in the way of increasing their capability for work.

This experiment was made with a weight of one kilogramme (2·2 pounds) and contractions every two seconds. It was found that in a natural condition the middle finger could thus contract two hundred and sixty-five times without any fatigue.[1]

In comparing this last experiment with the preceding ones it is found that the effect of massage consists essentially in reawakening the phenomena of the local circulation, in bringing to the muscles a greater quantity of material necessary for their contraction, and in removing the retrograde products of muscular work.

Résumé.—1. Massage, when applied upon a muscle in a state of repose, increases its resistance to work and modifies its fatigue curve by retarding the manifestation thereof.

2. The beneficial effect of massage is within certain limits in proportion to the duration of its application. Beyond these limits there is not obtained any further increase in the production of mechanical work.

3. Massage can hinder in muscles the accumulated effects of fatigue proceeding from the effects of work when not sufficient intervals of rest have been allowed.

4. The various manœuvers of massage act with different intensity upon the aptitude of muscles for work. Percussion and friction are inferior to pétrissage and to mixed massage.

5. In muscles weakened by fasting we can, by means of massage, notably ameliorate their resistance to work.

6. Upon muscles fatigued or weakened by a cause which acts upon the whole muscular system, such as prolonged walking, loss of sleep, loss of food, excessive intellectual work, etc., massage exerts a restorative influence which brings back to them their power of doing a natural amount of work.

7. The beneficial effects of massage upon the phenomena of muscular work are no longer produced when it is applied upon a muscle in which the circulation of blood has been suppressed.


The potato, according to Mrs. Lily Grove, grows native in the islands of Ohiloe, in the wildest districts, even at the top of the highest mountains. A whole region is called after it, and it is often the sole food of the people.

  1. In all these experiments the massage was done with the same energy by Prof. Maggiora's assistant, Dr. Grandis. The ergograph of Prof. Mosso was used to take the tracings of the fatigue curves.