17 Jun Massage & Immunity
No, we don’t develop an immunity to massage, thank goodness, rather massage helps our immune system! And how might it do this? In a number of ways, and relaxation is definitely part of the reason.
Massage boosts lymphocytes, which are the fighter cells that combat dis-ease in the body. Not only has it been shown to increase white blood cells post-body work, but it eases inflammation by reducing cytokines. Some level of inflammation is involved in nearly every disease state.
Massage moves lymph. Lymph is a fluid in our body that contains the toxins from cells, and it only moves around through physical movement, there’s no pump for lymph. Stagnation of lymph leads to disease and burdens the immune system. Massage is one of the best things you can do to stimulate the drainage of lymph. This helps to detoxify the body of old blood cells, toxins and strengthens the immune system.
Massage alleviates stress, reduces anxiety and reduces cortisol. So this is where the relaxation comes into play. Stress lowers our immune response, make us move vulnerable to illness. Massage has even been shown to boost serotonin & dopamine, neurotransmitter aiding in well-being and feelings of awesome!
“In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.”
A few honourable mentions to the other perks massage can offer are:
– An improvement in your posture
– Increased mobility in joints
– Speeding the recovery of sport injuries to tissue
– An alleviation in the pain associated with arthritis
– Improvement in circulation
– Improved skin tone
– Prevention in psychological issues
– Reduction in blood pressure
– To aid in insomnia
– To support the treatment of cancer & other chronic diseases
Levelling up the immune system with massage therapy!