As we head into the cooler months, you may be looking for ways to boost your immune system. The change of season often brings an increase in colds, cases of flu and other nasty bugs you want to avoid. By supporting your health and wellbeing, you can give your body the best possible chance of staying well.
Massage, including our signature Lymphatic Drainage technique, can help to support your immune system. Here’s why you should introduce it into your self-care routine this winter…
The pressure and techniques used in massage therapy help to stimulate blood flow and circulation throughout the body. This can help to transport your immune-boosting white blood cells around the body as needed and ensure your organs are functioning optimally.
Efficient circulation also helps to remove waste created by various organs from the body. Bacteria and other infectious matter can also be transported away more easily when your circulatory system is working well.
Improves lymphatic functioning
Massage has also been shown to improve lymphatic functioning. The lymphatic system forms a major part of the immune system, defending the body against infections and harmful bacteria or viruses.
A study* has shown that massage can increase the level of lymphocytes, which are the cells that help the immune system fight off harmful substances in the body. Our M1 Lymphatic Method technique focuses on the healthy functioning of the lymphatic system which can help you improve your health and immunity this winter.
Pain can also impact the immune system. When we are in a state of long term stress from chronic pain, it triggers a rise in the hormone cortisol which in turn causes a decline in our immune capability. Over time, this may mean you become more susceptible to illness and other conditions.
Massage can be used to manage physical pain – whether it is niggling discomfort from an injury or a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia. Our massage therapists are experienced in a range of techniques and will be able to create a treatment plan that may be able to help you manage your conditions and alleviate discomfort.
By helping to reduce pain, we can help to reduce unnecessary stress on the body and in turn promote a healthy, functioning immune system.
Promotes mental health
Massage can also help to promote mental health. There have been many empirical studies into the benefits of massage for physical and mental health. Numerous studies have found single applications of massage therapy reduced anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, negative mood, and pain**.
While multiple sessions offered benefits for pain management, massage therapy had the largest effect on depression and anxiety symptoms. Overall, a course of treatments was found to provide the most beneficial mental health outcomes in these areas***.
By reducing stress and anxiety, we can help to calm the central nervous system, reduce the production of cortisol and ensure the immune system is able to function optimally.
We have a whole blog on the benefits of massage on mental health. Check it out here!
If you’re looking for ways to improve your immune system, we recommend having a massage every 2-4 weeks. It will help to improve your health and wellbeing so you can feel your best!
We have a range of package options available online to make your favourite treatments even more affordable.
We also recommend keeping an eye on our social media for promotional offers! Follow us on Instagram here.
*A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals. Mark Hyman Rapaport, Pamela Schettler, Catherine Bresee. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Oct, Vol 16. No. 10, 1079–1088.
**A Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy Research. Christopher A. Moyer, James Rounds, and James W. Hannum University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Psychological Bulletin Copyright 2004 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 2004, Vol. 130, No. 1, 3–18
***Effectiveness of Different Styles of Massage Therapy in Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Yuan SL, Matsutani LA, Marques AP. Man Ther. 2015, Vol 20. No. 2, 257-264.