You’re not supposed to massage yourself for the first time.
That’s because you may be breaking the rules and exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals, according to a new study.
The study, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, found that when participants were instructed to massage their sore muscles in a therapeutic manner, they were also exposed to chemicals that can cause skin irritation.
It’s not clear how the chemicals could affect your health.
The researchers did, however, note that massage is not the same as stretching, which is often used to relieve pain.
“It’s a lot more therapeutic, so we would recommend people to try massage,” said Dr. Matthew J. Sallis, one of the authors of the study.
“But there is also no doubt that massage can be a little bit toxic,” he added.
Sallis and his colleagues conducted a trial with 200 participants aged between 12 and 24.
They measured their skin’s sensitivity to the chemical benzene (also known as benzocaine) and the amount of irritation it caused.
The participants were asked to massage themselves with a plastic device with a soft foam tip and the tips were pressed against their skin to increase the pressure.
They were then asked to rub their muscles to see if they felt more irritation, and if they were able to feel any discomfort at all.
Then the researchers asked participants to do a massage on their own to see how their skin responded.
There was no difference in sensitivity between the two groups.
But when participants did massage themselves, they experienced an increase in pain and discomfort, and more than twice as much pain than when they were instructed not to.
And when they massage themselves in the same way for more than two minutes, they reported a significant increase in the amount they felt discomfort.
“The results suggest that the exposure to benzocamine may cause an increase of the inflammatory processes that cause pain,” the study concluded.
So if you’re uncomfortable, massage may not be the answer.
And even if you do massage, be careful: the chemical could be causing you harm, too.
Some of the chemicals in massage are known to be carcinogens, including benzocarbons, the study found.
A review of more than 30 studies conducted in the US, UK, Australia and Japan found that the most common carcinogens found in massage oil are benzene and isobutyl benzene.
In fact, the American Chemical Society, the largest chemical safety organization in the world, has said that “anybody who uses benzocarbene for personal care or personal hygiene purposes is at risk.”
And some studies have found that people who massage their bodies in the natural way are at increased risk for skin cancer.