Contributed By: Kristy Serdinsky, Franchise Owner/Strategic Partner, Massage Heights-Jetton Village
The immune system is a complicated thing. It fights off viruses and bacteria for us, but the immune system can be compromised for any number of reasons. Studies show that massage therapy can increase the body’s capacity to fight off invaders and prevent illness.
How Does Massage Help Immunity?
Regular massage increases the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity. These are the killer cells that fight bacteria. It also helps to increase the level of activity in white blood cells to improve the overall function of the immune system. Research according to Jeff Smoot, 2016 President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), shows that using massage on patients with compromised immune systems improved the function of those immune systems.
It is believed that those same benefits can also be applied to people who are simply looking to fight off the common cold or flu or any other seasonal illness they may come in contact with. It is also believed that this is even more effective in winter months when the spread of these viruses is more prevalent. With cold and flu season right around the corner, any ammunition that will help in the battle is worth consideration.
Cedars-Sinai hospital also ran their own studies where participants received a series of Swedish massages and they experienced significant changes in lymphocytes, which play a crucial role in defending the body from disease.
These studies demonstrate that alternative medicine through massage therapy offers another avenue to treating illness that does not involve drugs. It is important to note, though, that you should not get a massage if you are already sick. Just like any workout, when your body is fighting off illness, increasing circulation can stir up a virus and make your symptoms feel worse.