Many health benefits of massage therapy are well known, including increasing range of motion, improving coordination, and reducing stress and anxiety. But many people don’t know that massage can also aid in boosting your immune system! People who undergo re|treat|ments can experience measurable changes in their immune and endocrine response, making massage a great promoter of wellness and immune health.
Dr. Mark Rapaport, the chairman of Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and lead author of a study on the health benefits of massage, says “Massage is popular in America, with almost 9 percent of adults receiving at least one massage within the past year. People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn’t been much physiological proof of the body’s heightened immune response following massage until now.”
In this study, people who received a 45-minute massage had an increased number of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body from disease, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said in a statement.
Massage for wellness can improve patients lives and treat health problems in a variety of other ways. Other health benefits of massage include:
- Regulating the automatic nervous system activity
- Stimulating the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems
- Improving posture and joint problems
- Alleviating arthritis and sciatica pain
“Massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,” says Rapaport. “It appears that a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit.”
People looking to fend off cold and flu as the winter months arrive should speak to a massage therapist about prevention strategies.
“Researchers working with patients with compromised immune systems have found massage therapy can improve how the immune system functions,” said Jeff Smoot, 2015 President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). “Those same benefits can translate to people seeking to fight off the common cold, flu and other seasonal illnesses.”
Remember, only receive massage therapy when you’re healthy!