Massage & your immune system
I hope this message finds you healthy! I wanted to take a minute to share with you how massage can help your immune system. You may, or may not be surprised, that it has a lot to do with stress! If you would like to read the entire article from Massage Magazine 'This is how massage builds a healthy immune system' with references to the research click here
When we are in pain our stress levels goes way up. We worry if this pain will ever go away, how it effects our quality of life, will we loose our livelihood over this, and so on. It's not a surprise that massage therapy relieves pain but, did you know that relieving pain can significantly affect your immune response. Research confirms that pain has a significantly immunosuppressive effects on the human body. Scientists have also found strong evidence that pain reduces the levels of important parts of the immune system that deals with infection.
Research has also found that those who received Swedish massage experienced observable changes in lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell (immune cell) that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies, and T-lymphocytes help kill tumor cells and help control immune responses. You can see how these play an important role in a healthy immune system that protects us from disease.
Also, according to study findings, the immediate effects of massage therapy reduced anxiety levels, depression and anger, while longer-term benefits showed direct impact on the body's immune makers- such as increased dopamine, improved serotonin levels and better lymphocytes levels.
Just know that, massage offers relaxation and stress relief, and when you are less stressed, your much less likely to fall ill. This is because chronic stress impairs your body's inflammatory immune response, increasing your susceptibility to infection.