Can a massage therapy appointment boost immunity? Clinical studies say that it can.
Though massage has previously been viewed as a luxury, massage is fast becoming part of living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. We use our bodies every day, putting stress on the muscles, our psyche, emotions, heart and other vital organs. (See my previous blog about Massage and Stress). So we know that massage helps relax stressed out muscles, psyche and emotions, but how does it boost the immune system?
Some studies report that massage has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, (a stress hormone), and vasopressin (a possible aggressive hormone). Since massage improves blood and lymph flow, massage is beneficial to the entire body, including the immune system.
Some of the benefits of increased blood/lymph flow are:
In addition to alleviating stress, which can cause more sickness than in people who have less stress, regular massage can increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the body’s “killer cells”), and decrease T-cells. This improves immune functioning throughout the body.
Benefits of Strengthening the Immune System
In a study by Gail Ironson, M.D., a group of HIV positive men were given 45 minute massages for five days a week, over the course of a month. This study showed an increase in their serotonin levels, as well as an increase in certain cells are the first line of defense for their immune system.
How DOES Massage
Help the Immune System?
Well, since our immune systems are compromised when our emotions are high, whether elated or angry, it stands to reason that a massage that calms, relaxes and soothes would in turn, positively affect our immune system, by strengthening it.
The Touch Research Institute, at the University of Miami, did a study on women with breast cancer. After 5 weeks of massage therapy being performed 3x/week, 80% of these women showed improved immune function! This is great news!
It is so much better to prevent illness than to fix it. Just like your car. We drive our car every day. If we don’t want it to stop working in the middle of a long road trip, or on the way to work or home, we make sure it has oil, gas, tune ups, etc. Otherwise, the cost and inconvenience will be much higher. Being late to or missing work completely, calling a tow truck, having emergency fixes done to the car (they always cost more).
We have an inborn ability to heal ourselves (our body). The immune system is the body’s first and natural defense against illness and disease. So, like our cars, it’s so important to address and maintain it. When we choose to take care of our body, then our body will more effectively take care of us.
Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
It’t time to schedule your massage today, and make sure you rebook regularly!
Have a great day!
This blog is meant to provide information, tips, and resources related to maintaining good physical, mental, and emotional health. The content may cover topics such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, mindfulness, and self-care. The goal is to help readers improve their overall well-being and live happier, healthier lives.