How Does Massage Benefit Your Immune System

Massage has many benefits for the body, but have you ever wondered how it benefits your immune system?

Ever since the Coronavirus started making the news, I started asking questions about the best ways to prevent getting the virus.

Now I know what you’re thinking…

Wash your hands, try to avoid large groups of people, keep everything clean and so on.  However, what are the things that we can be doing for our body to help fight off the Coronavirus?  One of the answers I thought of was strengthening your immune system.

Yes, washing your hands is important but if somehow you did come in contact with the Coronavirus is your body strong enough to fight it.

 

There are 6 things that help strengthen your immune system:

 

1. Exercise

Now most of you with everything that is going on, do not want to go to they gym.  Which is understandable with the amount of people touching the equipment and lets be honest….. not everyone is as good about wiping off the machines after use.

However, working out is a great way to boost your immune system.

“Exercise causes your body’s antibodies and white blood cells to circulate more rapidly, which means they may be able to detect and zero in on bugs more quickly. Being active this way also lowers stress hormones, which reduces your chances of getting sick.” – Mark Moyad, M.D., M.P.H., Jenkins/Pokempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center

 

2. Diet

80% of your immune system is in your gut, so when it’s healthy, we’re able to fight off infections faster and more efficiently. But when it’s not, our immune system is weaker and has a harder time fighting off infection.

Yufang Lin, M.D., of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, recommends people to eat a Mediterranean style of eating, which means a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, found in foods such as fatty fish, nuts and olive oil. This eating style is known to reduce inflammation and fight infection with its high nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and other antioxidants.

You also want to stay away from foods that cause inflammation and mucus in the body such as:

  • Dairy
  • Breads
  • Pasta’s
  • Preservatives
  • High/Artificial Sugars

To make it easier if its not alive or was alive at one time you should probably avoid it.  And remember this is all based on the things I know and have read and there is no one size fits all.  So do your research and always consult with your doctor before making any huge lifestyle changes.

 

3. Supplementation

Supplementation is very important.  The human body requires 90 essential nutrients (according to your body weight), which is impossible to consume in your diet in one day.  Which is why your body has cravings to let you know what you are lacking.  And of course if you are missing a lot of nutrients it’s going to affect your immune system.

For more information on this subject I can recommend a book called “Truth About Nutrition by Dr. Joel D. Wallach, BS, DVM, ND

This book goes in depth on the importance of nutrition and how your body absorbs nutrients.  And you can find it on Amazon

 

4. Reduce Stress

5. Get Some Sleep!

 

Numbers 4 and 5 are very important and most of the time overlooked.  Both of these things go hand in hand and Massage Therapy is known to decrease cortisol levels (stress hormone), and increase serotonin and dopamine levels.  And as many people know stress effects your sleep.  So if you are feeling less stress you are also going to get a better nights rest.

 

6. Massage

Massage Therapy  increased number of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body from illness and work to combat viruses.

There was a study done by The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles saying, not only did massage help increase the amount of white blood cells but it also brought other physical changes as well.

Here’s what they said…

“Afterwards, participants had lower levels of cytokines, which are molecules that play a role in inflammation. Chronically high levels of inflammation are known to be associated with conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease and depression.The massages also had an impact on participants’ hormone levels. Receiving a massage decreased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and vasopressin, a hormone believed to play a role in aggressive behavior, according to the researchers.”

 

And there we have it!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you found this helpful.

Information pulled March 13, 2020

Resources:

Image by Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay

Book: Truth About Nutrition by Dr. Joel D. Wallach, ISBN #97809969983143

https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/boosting-immune-response.html

https://www.amtamassage.org/research/Massage-Therapy-Research-Roundup/Research-Roundup0.html

https://www.livescience.com/34910-massage-benefits-immune-system-100908.html

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