Immune System, Help is on the Way

Immune System, Help is on the Way
Coronavirus got you worried about your health?

Currently we are experiencing mandatory Self-Isolation, and Social Distancing as a weapon against the  Covid-19/Corona Virus.  If you have some down time as a result, you may want to strengthen your immune system with massage therapy.

Massage therapy has long been renowned for improving the immune system.  This is something to be done in advance.  If you have come down with a bug, then massage is not for you.  Massage during a cold or flu can spread the infection further through your body.  So please stay home and rest until you are completely well before having your massage.

Here’s why massage helps your immune system.

  • STRESS – Stress is an immune suppressant.  Our bodies are helped by stress, and hurt by stress.  It is good to have a little jolt of stress, on occasion, to maintain our body’s ability to speed up and defend us against something bad.  Our heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate can all accelerate and help us react to a stressful situation (honking horn, angry boss).  On the down side, our body has to put other systems on hold.  Our digestive system, reproductive system, and immune system all decrease activity.  If the stress is short lived, great.  Things go back to normal.  But if we are always stressed the immune system is one of those systems that suffers.  Our Hero, Massage Therapy, ends the stress response in the body AND at the same time amplifies the function of the systems that were interrupted.  Have you experienced a massage where you felt sleepy, and a bit dopey afterwards?  That is a sign that it is working.  The ‘rest and repair’ response is ON, and the ‘fight and flight’ response is OFF.
  • PLENTY OF REST – Sleep is not optional for our immune system.  All our systems require plenty of rest to function properly.  The same way that massage brings back the Rest and Repair Response (above), which helps eliminate Stress, can help improve sleep.  Whether the problem is falling asleep, getting back to sleep, or waking too early. For further details about Massage and Sleep, you can see my blog post at markhughesmassage.com.
  • MORE WHITE BLOOD CELLS – White Blood Cells are a part of our immune system that acts like little Pac Men to eat germs.  A study of 53 participants revealed that Swedish massage increased white blood cell count.
  • AGING – We are warned that as we age, we become more susceptible to diseases.  Perhaps the body’s efficiency at producing immune cells such as T-cells and Stem cells becomes less proficient.  You can’t change your age.  But you can help your immune system in other ways, with less stress and better sleep.  Again, you can enjoy a massage, while improving your immune status.

You can help optimize your immune system in more ways:

  • Not Smoking
  • Eat plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Exercise
  • Reaching a Health Weight

I hope this information is helpful to you.