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Massage therapy is well-known for its soothing abilities, to reduce stress, treat headaches and back pain, and for rehabilitation after surgery or injury. Did you know that it can also boost your immune system to fight colds, flu, and other viral infections?

Massage therapy

Your immune system depends largely on white blood cells called lymphocytes, specifically B cells and T cells. These blood cells originate in your bone marrow before moving on to their permanent homes in your spleen and lymph nodes, (tiny glands located all over your body that filter germs and bacteria). Your immune system relies on B cells and T cells to produce antibodies to kill germs. While your immune system works well on its own, we’ve all felt the effects of a virus and wished we could get over it faster. Massage therapy may help by increasing the amount of lymphocytes your body has in store.

Scientists have studied the blood samples of people receiving various massage techniques and reported that levels of cortisol – a hormone produced largely when you feel stress – were reduced, and levels of those germ-fighting lymphocytes increased after a massage. Cortisol’s main purpose is to help you move quickly when you’re in danger. It also decreases other bodily functions like your immune system in order to conserve energy. Increased cortisol equals decreased immunity.

While several methods of massage have proven to boost immunity, more vigorous methods of touch therapy, like Swedish massage, seem to have the best results. To reap the fullest benefits of an immunity-boosting massage you should seek treatment from a Registered Massage Therapist. Massage therapy is available for people living with a wide variety of illnesses, physical abilities, and varying degrees of suppressed immunity, making it treatment worth investigating to support your overall health.

It’s no secret that our society has come to idolize a busy lifestyle which can lead to increased stress and tension and weakened immunity. Weekly or even monthly massages can help you to reduce the tension you carry in your shoulders and back, relieve stress, and help your immune system function at its best. To find out whether massage therapy is right for you, book an appointment at Wilson Health Services to speak with our incredible team of Registered Massage Therapists – we were awarded the Cambridge Times Readers Choice Platinum Award for Best Massage Clinic in 2015 – and find out how we can help. Call us at 519-624-8000.

Sources:

“A preliminary study of the effects of a single session of Swedish massage on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and immune function in normal individuals.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20809811
 “Effectiveness of aromatherapy with light thai massage for cellular immunity improvement in colorectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23886205
“The effect of a scalp massage on stress hormone, blood pressure, and heart rate of healthy female.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27821918

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Wilson Health Services

Wilson Health Services was founded in June of 2001 by Dr. Jason Wilson.  The office has grown over the years and is now a bustling multidisciplinary office.  Our team includes two Chiropractors, five Registered Massage Therapists, two Physiotherapists, an Acupuncturist, a Naturopath, a Chiropodist and a Low Intensity Laser Therapist.

 

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