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Activate Your Immune System

A new study conducted by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, suggests that massage therapy can do more than just relax your muscles and help you feel better. It might also benefit your immune system since they found that people who get a massage show changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.

According to the results of the study, massage may have caused a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increased number of lymphocytes, one of the three types of white blood cells. White blood cells are important in helping the body fight off infections and sickness. They play a large role in our immune system and keeping us healthy.

There has been more research on the effect of massage therapy on the immune system. Research shows that massage therapy may reduce anxiety, depressed mood, and anger as well. It may also increase dopamine and serotonin levels, based on a study conducted on breast cancer patients. These two hormones help with elevated moods and levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Lymphatic Drainage and its Benefits

Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, painless massage technique that stimulates the drainage of the lymph to the lymph nodes activating the body’s natural functions and is an essential part of your immune system. The lymph is a colorless fluid that bathes every cell in the body. The lymph is circulated by massage and physical exercise.  Many tissues depend on the lymph to provide nutrients and to carry off wastes. If the lymph does not circulate, the tissues suffocate while stewing in their own acidic waste products like uric acid and lactic acid. This can increase the chance of developing illnesses such as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a result of a toxic lymph system, which is now one of the most rapidly growing cancers in the United States.

Getting a lymphatic drainage helps:

·         Activate the immune system: by stimulating the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system, invasive toxins in the body are pushed towards the lymph nodes where they can be analyzed and destroyed.

·         Reduce levels of cortisol (the hormone of stress): cortisol is reduced when you receive a lymphatic drainage massage. As a result, you will feel immense relaxation as well.
·         Relieve pain: poor circulation can cause pain and swelling from excess fluid stored in wrong areas around the body. When the lymph nodes are activated and decongested the pain and swelling disappear.

These are benefits that affect not only the body, but also the mind. A lymphatic drainage treatment along with other healthy habits, helps you against seasonal viruses and allows you to feel more relaxed and healthier. That’s why it’s so important to keep your lymph system healthy.

Between 2017 and 2018, 19 percent of American adults received at least one massage according to the American Massage Therapy Association. The report states that most adults that went to get a massage got one because they wanted to relax or for health and wellness reasons. So, pampering yourself once in a while can also really help you build a stronger immune system.

Massage therapy is a growing industry with research on its benefits continuously being conducted. It’s a craft that people need to be trained in so they can help improve the lives of others.

If you are interested in learning more about massage therapy or becoming a massage therapist, click here to learn more about our programs and our massage school in San Diego.

References

American Massage Therapy Association. (2018) Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/economic_industry-fact-sheet.html

Mark Hyman Rapaport, Pamela Schettler, and Catherine Bresee. (2010) The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1079-1088.

Hernandezreif, M. (2004). Breast Cancer Patients Have Improved Immune And Neuroendocrine Functions Following Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 45-52.

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