How to design a placebo-proof test for the efficacy of massage? Massage rabbits.
A group at Ohio State has been designing studies to measure the physiological response to massage, and they're trying to eliminate the placebo effect. So they're massaging rabbits. Alex Hutchinson at Runner's World says
, "I wrote about the group's first study way back in 2008, which offered initial evidence that the rabbits did indeed recover more quickly after massage. Their most recent study, just published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, tackles the question of when massage is most effective."