At the first onset of a sluggishness or a tired feeling, we tend to forget that one of the hugest allies in our zeal for better immunity is massage therapy.
Massage is generally thought of as either a resource when we are injured or a nurturing treatment for ourselves. We forget that one of the main benefits from massage is the increased circulation and an immune system boost. The Mayo Clinic has done studies on the reduction of stress and the immune system.
An interesting university study out of Miami by Dr. Gail Ironson was with HIV positive males. The study included 5 day, 45 minute session massages for a month. The increased serotonin and WBC counts were astonishing. Especially for a health group that struggles with these issues.
Massage is known to alleviate general aches and pains, but we cannot forget about the immune system response we can have if we enter into a massage regimen, and the long term benefits we can enjoy. Reducing stress through massage can aid in better sleep patterns, feeling refreshed in the morning when we wake, as opposed to the regular struggle to wake up and be productive. Regular massages can become a structured part of your goals to have a healthier lifestyle.
Immunity Massage Dos
- Make massages a regular part of your wellness plan. Include it in your goals of a better diet, exercise, and healing sleep cycle. A better diet helps your body make the best out of the nutrients you ingest using it for fuel and energy. Regular exercise gives your body a chance to strengthen your heart, lungs and overall muscle development. Massages aid in your circulation and immune system’s ability to fight off infections and encourages a deeper more restful REM sleep.
- Always use a licensed massage therapist. You want to make sure that whoever you choose has gone through the proper education and training at all times.
- In between massages if you cannot financially keep a frequent schedule, yoga, meditation and similar activities like hot baths to nurture your psyche and keep stress levels down will also help to enhance your immune levels.
Immunity Massage Do Nots
- If you are already sick, it may not be the time for a massage. Your body is already trying to fight off an infection. Since massages increase circulation, it may confuse your body’s response to your cold and compromise your spleen and kidneys that are already trying to fight off the infection.
- A monthly Portland massage can help manage stress levels and have immunity boosting effects. However, once a year massages are probably not going to help you with long term outcomes. Professional clinics may offer a membership so you can get on a regular schedule.
- Your comfort level during your session is up to you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and say if the lighting is too bright or too dark, or if the music is not quite your taste. You should be warm enough and feel comfortable with your massage therapist; after all you are doing this immunity massage for you.