Rejuvenation might be the most common reason that massages are given. While massage might have been seen as only a spa luxury in the past, the secret is getting out that it is a restorative therapy, influencing your immune system, endocrine system, and cardiovascular system. This old healing art has benefits that include reducing anxiety, depressed mood and long-term depression, anger, and hostility. As we round the corner to our Spring season, germs will continue to be transferred, so it’s even more important to maintain a strong immune system as it should keep infectious microorganisms out of the body and to destroy any infectious microorganisms that do invade in the body.
Your immune system is an amazing framework for providing a clean and safety for your body to function correctly. If your immune system were to quit working, toxins, bacteria, and viruses would invade and in just a matter of weeks, these organisms would completely eat your body apart until you were just a skeleton! Not only is your immune system keeping you alive, but (hopefully) it’s also allowing you to live your functional, happy, and healthy life!
Your immune system’s most broad aspect is your skin as it is a barrier between you and germs, and it gets as small as tiny enzymes that travel through your blood stream to assist in your body’s immunity and heal-ability. One important system between those two parts is the lymphatic system. Massage therapy not only improves the circulation of the blood and its vital nutrients, but also increases the circulation of lymph, thus helping your body fight off infection and speeding your recovery from injuries and illness.
In a few different studies, several changes that benefit the immune system were found via blood tests after Swedish massages. For example, there appears to be a great decreases in the hormone that contributes to aggressive behavior, and small decreases in the stress hormone, cortisol. The massage participants also had an increase in lymphocytes, cells that help the immune system defend the body from harmful substances, and increased Natural Killer cells which play a major role in the rejection of tumors and cells infected by viruses.
When the skin is stimulated, a showering of healing chemicals is poured into our blood stream, so treat yourself (and your body) to a rejuvenating and healing massage!!