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Massage Therapy and the Immune System!

Massage therapy can relieve stress, rejuvenate muscles and ease chronic pain. But did you know that massage also helps to stimulate and strengthen your immune system? It’s true! The same tissue stimulation that heals your musculoskeletal system also benefits your immune system, and, as we are in cold and flu season, who doesn’t want an extra boost of protection?

Not only does a massage feel good, it can actually make you healthier!

T Cells and B Cells

Your body’s main line of defense against infectious organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, is the collection of structures and processes that comprise the immune system. At the center of the immune system are the cells known as lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are born in the bone marrow and migrate through the body to the lymph nodes and spleen where they face off against the invading antigens and kill them.

T cells and B cells are the key to a high-functioning immune system and research indicates that massage can play a direct role in increasing not only the quantity of these cells within your body, but also the strength and effectiveness of the cells. T cells are especially important; they not only release hormones that help B cells develop into antibody-producing cells, but also aid in the formation of specialized T cells called cytotoxic T cells. Cytotoxic T cells kill antigens directly, then stimulate the production of memory T cells that remember the antigen and are prepared for a more speedy and effective response when they attack again.

Stress and Your Immune System

The immune system is very vulnerable to the effects of stress. Stress hormones such as cortisol increases inflammation in the body, inflammation that can decrease the function of the immune system and make you more vulnerable to illnesses such as a cold or the flu.

Massage therapy schools teach their students about massage techniques that help to relieve not only emotional or mental stressors, but also help to improve circulation in the body and decrease inflammation, relieving the sources of physical stress that can severely handicap the immune system.National Institutes of Health (NIH) research conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that even a single session of massage could produce significant changes in the levels of T cells and B cells, as well as stimulating the endocrine system.

Everyone can benefit from a massage, and, Sports Massage is not just for sports professionals. If you feel you need our help, head over to www.therpyfittreatments.com to see the list of services available.

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