Massage Can Boost Immunity
Most of us have experienced periods in our lives when we seemed more vulnerable to infectious illnesses. If we are feeling stressed and anxious, it’s harder for our bodies to fight off and defend against illness. We know that a massage feels good and helps us relax, and now we have learned that massage can help boost our immune systems and protect against illness.
Researchers have reported that regular massage can provide significant benefits towards strengthening our immune system, as documented in separate studies by National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine and by Gail Ironson, M.D
Even a light, gentle touch can encourage the lymphatic system to drain and release bacteria and viruses from the body more efficiently, increasing our power to fight off the germs we encounter every day. Massage can also help improve blood circulation, digestion and healthy functioning of the bowels, liver and spleen. This can be especially beneficial for people who are weakened and do not exercise regularly.
A 45-minute massage can help increase number of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body from disease. The same treatment will also lower levels of cytokines, which are molecules that play a role in inflammation, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
“This research indicates that massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,” said study researcher Dr. Mark Rapaport, chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences, at Cedars-Sinai.