Article contributed by Conrad & Janet Hunter, Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa of Mooresville

Massage therapy is part of a traditional holistic system of healing methods that began about 5,000 years ago. Today, it is often sought out to help relieve pain, induce relaxation, alleviate anxiety and depression, and aid in a feeling of overall well-being. But did you know that massage therapy can also help bolster your immune system as well?

Clinical studies have indicated that regular massage naturally increases the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells,” a type of white blood cell) and decreases the number of T-cells. As the increased number of killer cells make their way throughout your body, they eliminate whatever pathogens (bacteria, viruses, and other such microorganisms) they come across, and also eliminate other wastes found in your bloodstream. As such, they boost your infection-fighting abilities, allowing a stronger, more efficient immunity response. In addition, massage therapy can reduce the levels of cortisol in your body. This is important to your immune system because high levels of cortisol can reduce your body’s killer cells, which are its first line of defense against those pathogens.

The studies also found that massage brought other physical changes, too, such as lower levels of cytokines, which are molecules that play a role in inflammation, and decreased levels of vasopressin, a hormone believed to play a role in aggressive behavior.

Other health benefits of massage include:

  • Helps regulate automatic nervous system activity
  • Helps stimulate the circulatory, lymphatic, and hormonal systems
  • Improves posture and joint problems
  • Alleviates arthritis and sciatica pain
  • Dramatically reduces anxiety
  • Relieves insomnia
  • Reduces pain
  • Relieves and reduces headaches
  • Reduces the negative side effects of chemotherapy
  • Reduces symptoms of fibromyalgia
  • Assists in regaining memory

Just as regular exercise and a healthy diet are important components of a healthy lifestyle, regular massage is a valuable part of a comprehensive wellness program—and it feels good, too! For more information about the benefits of massage therapy or to schedule a massage, call Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa of Mooresville at 704-800-5535.