Massage Stimulates Immune Cells to Strengthen Defenses
While many people use massage therapy as a way to reduce pain, alleviate injuries or muscle soreness, the benefits go far deeper than the musculo-skeletal system. Research has shown that massage not only stimulates a larger quantity of T-cells and B-cells—those cells that protect your body from invading antigens—but it can also help increase the strength and effectiveness of the cells. Studies have shown that massage increases the activity level of cytotoxic T-cells (sometimes called “killer T-cells), which fight off viruses.
Stress Reduction Key to Immunity
Massage is also shown to cause a decrease in the hormone Arginine Vasopressin (AVP), which is responsible for feelings of aggression and the release of the hormone cortisol, which provides that all- too-familiar sensation—stress. And stress, in addition to the uncomfortable emotions and thoughts it brings, increases inflammation, which can decrease the functionality of your immune system and make you more vulnerable to illness.
Finally, massage is a great way to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Sometimes referred to as the “rest and digest” system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy, slows the heart rate, and increases intestinal and gland activity. Basically, it helps our body to relax. Which helps our mind relax. Which allows all that beautiful healing and immunity strengthening to take place.
So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your immunity, to relax and to feel great, consider scheduling a massage today!