Strengthens The Immune System
Massage Therapy Strengthens the Immune System
Regular therapeutic massage sessions provide significant benefits beyond the immediate relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our body’s ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced.
Numerous studies have indicated that massage can increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural "killer cells") and decrease the number of T-cells, which improves the body’s immune functioning overall.
In one study by Gail Ironson, M.D., HIV positive men were given 45 minute massages five days a week, for a month. They showed an increase in serotonin and an increase in cells that are viewed as the first line of defense in the immune system. This is testing a very narrow aspect of the human immune system, but it does lend scientific credibility to a therapy which is widely recognized as therapeutic, based on experience.