The answer to that is a resounding YES!
Regular massage provides significant benefits beyond just relaxation. People who experience high levels of stress or anxiety tend to get sick more often. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our immune system’s ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced.
So, what are the benefits of massage on immune system?
Clinical studies have shown that regular massage not only helps alleviate stress, but can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and decreases the number of T-cells, which improves the body’s immune functioning overall. In one study by Gail Ironson, M.D., HIV positive men were given 45 minute massages five days a week, for a month. They showed an increase in serotonin and an increase in cells that are viewed as the first line of defence in the immune system.
Another obvious benefit of massage is the stimulation of lymphatic fluid. Massage increases the circulation of blood and lymph, transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, and assisting in the elimination of toxins. This is especially useful for those that live a more sedentary lifestyle or spend long hours sitting down, as this effects the body’s ability to transport lymph efficiently around the body.
As someone who works so closely with people, it’s important for me to make sure that I keep myself healthy and strong throughout the cold and flu season. As an added line of defence, along with regular massage, I always turn to the wonderful properties of Essential Oils. Their antibacterial and anti viral properties are perfect for burning and using this time of year for a sweet smelling immune boost.
Pick up your own Bug Bustin’ Blend to take home next time you’re at the clinic and keep up the good work!
So, if you want to give your body a fighting chance this winter, why not reduce your stress levels and boost your immunity all in one go and treat yourself to a massage.