Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Protect Your Health with Massage

Massage not only feels good, it can help prevent you from getting sick! New research has shown massage to be highly effective in strengthening the immune system and helping to ward off colds and flu. Intense training can lead to fatigue and increased levels of cortisol (commonly known as the “stress hormone”) in the body, which reduces the available number of white blood cells and killer cells. The combination of intense training and the daily stress of life compromises our body’s ability to fight off illness.

What can be done about it? Research at the Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Center, USA showed that healthy individuals under academic stress had increased killer cell activity following massage. The research also showed that this was immediate after only one massage and didn’t require a series of treatments. Another study of HIV positive men at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed that massage increased the number of killer cells and decreased levels of cortisol.

Written by Allyson Madere
Licensed Massage Practitioner, Seattle Athletic Club Northgate

Referenced from: Zeitlin, D., et al. Immunological effects of massage therapy during Academic stress, Psychosomatic Medicine, Jan/Feb 2000
Ironson T. et al. Massage Therapy is Associated with Enhancement of the Immune System’s Cytotoxic Capacity, Internal J. Neuroscience, 1996

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