Balance Blog

Oct 18th

Massage Therapy and the Immune System

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Here in Louisville, we’re nearing flu season, and many of us are preparing by stocking up on vitamin C and other immune-boosting supplements.  Maybe you already receive massage, for relaxation or pain issues; you can also consider massage a vitamin shot for your immune system!  Are you or someone you care about concerned with a weakened immune system? Studies show that massage therapy may help.  It’s long been known that stress suppresses immune function and increases inflammation.  It’s also been proven that massage therapy can measurably decrease stress, allowing for a strengthened immune system.

In addition to its effect on the stress that suppresses immune function, it appears that massage therapy has a direct effect on the immune system as well.   A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine found that in preliminary testing, a single session of Swedish massage appears to enhance immune function, and that massage therapy may help in managing autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.  Three studies by the Touch Research Center of Miami involved HIV positive men, healthy women with no major medical issues, and women living with breast cancer.  These studies found that among these different groups, massage therapy helped to build the immune system.

Many of us who are concerned with a weakened immune system, from preparing for the flu season to dealing with autoimmune disorders, can benefit from the biological and psychological effects of massage therapy.  When looking for “your” Louisville massage therapist, make sure she or he uses techniques that relax you, as well as get to the source of the pain.  This will ensure that along with all the other benefits of massage therapy, you’ll get a good boost for your immune system, as well.

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