It is widely known that regular therapeutic massage sessions provide significant and long-term benefits to your body and soul. Massage relieves physical and mental stress by decreasing muscle tension and reducing anxiety and even depression. It also increases body awareness and improves posture, therefore nurturing a general sense of well being. But it turns out that a good massage goes far beyond battling aches and pains or giving immediate relaxation we enjoy. Scientists have found out that it can also cause many positive effects on our immune system.
What the immune system is and what it means for us
Our immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within our organism that protects against disease. It detects and distinguishes among a wide variety of pathogens – our body’s natural enemies (e.g. viruses or bacteria) with the aim of killing them and keeping us healthy. It also needs to adjust its defensive capabilities to changing environments and keep ‘up-to-date’ when the pathogens quickly evolve. The lymphatic system is a major player in your body’s battle to prevent infection and heal injuries.
Our day-to-day live puts increased demands on our immune system. Constant rush, high levels of stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition or not enough exercise or rest, they all greatly reduce our immune system’s ability to protect us against infection. As we go into a spiral of fatigue, we lose efficiency, we miss days at work or skip the gym and we feel both physical and mental discomfort. It looks like a vicious circle but then…
… therapeutic massage comes to the rescue!
There have been a number of clinical studies carried out and the results show beyond any doubt that there is a link between regular body massage and increased functioning capacities of the immune system. Higher activity levels of the body’s natural ‘killer cells’ and improved lymph circulation naturally aid in the fight against many illnesses. A decrease in stress and aggressive behavior hormones accompanied with boosting the good-mood hormones – serotonin and dopamine – makes us feel happier and livelier. Several other positive effects have been observed including improved circulation of blood and its nutrients, removal of toxins from the system or reduced blood pressure and water retention. Massage also eases many kinds of pain and allows for a better sleep. You can feel like a completely new person.
Leave it to a pro
Massage cannot simply replace sleep, healthy diet or antibiotics when you are already ill but it can be a perfect addition to your exercise program. Regular massage keeps your immune system performing well, just like regular workout keeps your muscles strong. There are just two things you need to remember. One: Immune system rebuild is a gradual process so your massage needs regularity to achieve long-lasting results. Two: Therapeutic massage is like medicine and more and more often becomes a standard treatment at hospitals. It can be only as good as skilled is the person who gives it. So it is recommended to always turn to a qualified professional for the best results.