You rarely hear about someone complaining because they were offered a massage. Tense muscles in the neck, back, and legs can be eased away through simple massage techniques, with ultimate relaxation as the outcome. For many Americans, massages are a way to decompress and unwind from the stress of everyday life, but did you know they are physically good for your health, too? Not only are they relaxing, but they strengthen your immune system, which means your body becomes more capable of warding off illness and functioning optimally.
According to Live Science, a study that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine sought to explore the effects of massage therapy on the immune system. Participants were divided into 2 groups, with one being the group that received Swedish massages, and the other group to receive light touching as a comparison group. Blood samples were collected from the participants, and researchers found the following:
- Participants in the Swedish massage group experience decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and vasopressin, a hormone said to play a role in aggression (and controls the retention and release of water through the kidneys)
- Participants had lower levels of cytokines, which have a direct role in inflammation often associated with asthma, depression, and even cardiovascular disease
Excess cortisol has been shown to be linked to high blood pressure, insomnia, poor immune system functioning, fatigue, and more. Massage therapy works to combat some of these issues by decreasing pain, alleviating stiffness, managing blood pressure, relieving stress and anxiety, and more. Massage has been used for centuries, especially by Chinese medical practitioners (for hundreds of years!). However, this holistic practice has only recently acknowledged the amazing benefits that massage therapy can bring.
By finding healing and restoration through massage therapy, you can feel more rejuvenated, more relaxed, and less bogged down. Stress can certainly take a toll on us, but massage therapy can help reverse some of that by strengthening our immune system. Not to mention, there are several different kinds of massage that you can choose from to fit your needs.
Avalon Integrative Wellness offers an innovative approach to wellness and the exciting brand shift of our program emphasizes the importance of integrative wellness through experiential frameworks. Clients at Avalon Integrative Wellness learn, act, experience, grow, heal, and evolve, concurrently. If you’re ready to optimize your health and well-being, call us today at 888-266-9048.