Fact or Myth: Can Massage Help Boost Your Immune System

This is a FACT.

If you’re looking to boost your immune system – the first defense against disease – consider getting pampered with a massage!

What was previously considered a “luxury” is rapidly gaining popularity as a way to improve mental and physical well-being. Massage has become so popular in the United States that it is now offered in many airports, malls and businesses.

Immediate Body Benefits of Massage

To improve your mental state, a massage once a month should put you in an excellent frame of mind. It has been proven to increase the production of dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters that stimulate feelings of relaxation and happiness.

However, if you have chronic pain or physical stress-related symptoms, consider a massage once a week. The therapeutic benefits are worth the cost. Massage is considered as beneficial as pharmaceuticals when used to treat pain. Yoga and acupuncture can also help alleviate pain and stress.

Why Massage is More than just Pampering

Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences recently published research on the impact of massage on long-term health. It is the first study to definitively connect massage to better health.

The study, which appeared in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that participants saw measurable improvements to their immune systems in the form of an increase in white blood cells – which are your disease and infection fighters.boost your immune system

There were also significant decreases in the levels of cortisol – also known as the stress hormone – in their blood. Subjects reported fewer feelings of stress and aggression.

Additionally, researchers detected a sharp drop in pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines – which are believed to alter brain chemistry and induce symptoms of depression if left unchecked. Stress and inflammation are the primary building blocks of cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Both are reduced with massage – in as little as ten minutes.

Immunity & Body Boosting Results from Massage

    • Improved flexibility and range of motion
    • Relief of chronic pain and fibromyalgia
    • Stimulation of your brain’s sleep regulators – called delta waves – offers natural insomnia relief and aids in more satisfying sleep
    • Ease of severe menstrual symptoms such as bloating and irritability
    • More positive feelings of self and greater alertness
    Better skin tone and healthier hair due to improved blood flow
    • Boosts your white blood cell count and helps flush toxins

There are several forms of massage. Some focus on physical benefits such as muscle tension while others focus on mental relaxation. It is important to pick the massage that is right for you.

Here’s a breakdown on the most popular massages offered and what they focus on:

Swedish Massage

Also called “light touch” massage. The benefits are primarily mental – people who favor this form of massage report intense feelings of relaxation and higher energy levels.

Deep Tissue Massage

A slower massage with more pressure applied to reach muscles, tendons and connective tissue deep in your body. It targets specific problem areas and is physically beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain.

Sports Massage

This is similar in style to Swedish massage and focuses on your muscles to improve flexibility and range of motion. It can assist in preventing injury before an athlete performs and aids in quicker recovery from sprains.

Trigger Point Massage

Also called neuromuscular therapy massage, this style is medically based and primarily meant to treat chronic pain that involves your muscular and nervous system. It improves circulation, relieves pressure on nerves and eases injury caused by repetitive movement.

If you have osteoporosis, open wounds or a bleeding disorder, you should speak to your doctor before undertaking massage as part of your health regimen to boost your immune system naturally. A licensed massage therapist will also ask you questions about your health history and treat you with the massage best for you.

Why not schedule a massage today and boost your immunity?

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Category: Fact or Myth, Nutrition & Wellness

 

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