The Effect of Tapotement on the Reaction Time of Recreationally Active Men and Women.
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Aims - This study investigated the effects of Tapotement on an athlete’s reaction time. The effect of sex difference in isolation on reaction time, as well as whether Tapotement had a more pronounced effect on a particular sex was measured. Method - Participants consisted of 12 non-elite athletes (six males and six females, aged 20.6 + 0.71 years) Participants were recreationally active, participating in at least three session of training a week. They served as their own internal controls. The test of reaction time consisted of a 15 metre sprint after reacting to a green stimulus light projected from a SMARTSPEED timing gate. Three consecutive trials were conducted. The effect of Tapotement was tested by performing massage to the backs of the athletes, at the side of the track, for one minute 30 seconds utilising the hand techniques of ‘Hacking and Cupping’, applied in sets of 45 seconds. Statistical analysis was conducted by an independent paired t-test which was expanded further to a two-way mixed repeated Analysis of Variances (ANOVA). An alpha level of P < 0.1 was used for significance. Results - No differences in reaction time between the sexes before intervention was found. After the intervention of Tapotement a graphical representation indicated that both sexes appeared to be decreasing, more visually evident in the males than females, although this did not reach statistical significance P = 0.177. When all participants’ reaction times pre and post Tapotement massage were compared, the mean difference was 0.0219 seconds, which was statistically significant, at the value of P = 0.076 ( P < 0.1). Conclusion - This is the first published study of the effect of Tapotement on reaction time. The finding of a performance enhancement in the form of a decline in reaction time of 0.02 (s) could have advantageous results in competitive sprint events.
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