The benefits of massage therapy go much deeper than the immediate relief of muscle tension and soreness one feels during and after a massage. There have been many studies that have proven the link between the use of massage therapy and improved health, especially when it comes to the immune system. Beyond the stress reduction, increased circulation and increased physical performance, massage therapy can help boost your body’s defenses against disease.
Studies on Massage Therapy and Immune Function
For the last two decades there has been an increased focus on the benefits of massage therapy on immunity. Whether it is fighting off the common cold or helping very ill patients boost their immune systems to overcome serious diseases, massage therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment.
In particular, Swedish and Deep Tissue massages seem to have the most benefit, stimulating immunity and wellness. Here are just a few of the studies that have linked improved immune function to massage therapy:
- According to Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, children infected with HIV I were studied to measure the effects of massage on their immune system. In a 12-week period, the control group without massage therapy had significantly higher drops in immune function measured through blood counts than those who received bi-weekly 20-minute massages.
- A study conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angles documented reduced levels of cortisol and cytokines while white blood cells were increased in those who received a 45-minute Swedish massage.
Include Massage Therapy in Your Healthy Lifestyle
These studies, and many more, show that massage therapy is much more than just an enjoyable relaxation tool. Including massage therapy in your regular wellness routine can have an impact on your ability to fight off disease and remain healthy all year round. In addition to the immunity boost, you also may notice:
- Lower stress and tension levels
- Improved circulation
- Increased physical performance and flexibility
- Muscle healing and rehabilitation
- Massage therapy is no longer just to be used when you are sore or trying to overcome an injury. Although it is very beneficial for those circumstances, it is also can be a part of your wellness program improving your overall health and well-being.