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Massage Corner with Heather Groot: The Benefits of Massage Therapy

Registered Massage Therapy and Your Immune System

Cold and flu season is upon us in full force; the cold and dreary months of January and February tend to drag down our defenses and leave us feeling less than great. Did you know that receiving regular registered massage therapy treatments can help to increase your body’s ability to fight off colds and viruses? Well they can! Massage therapy helps restore the body to its optimal functioning, which in turn allows the immune system to do its job. Here’s how it works:

First let’s look at a few of the causes of decreased immune function:

  • Chronic stress: This is caused by long-standing stressors in life such as work. Over time, chronic stress increases the levels of a hormone called cortisol. Increased cortisol levels decrease the body’s ability to produce key hormones that act to support the immune system.
  • Simple stress and rushing: In our world today, we consider it “normal” to rush from here to there. For many of us, this type of stress seems to be unavoidable, but it takes its toll and your body doesn’t get the chance to rest. Rest is a key factor for the body to be able to rejuvenate and repair itself.
  • Lack of sleep: Sleep helps the body’s immune system to rebuild and repair.

First let’s look at a few of the causes of decreased immune function:

  • Massage helps to alleviate stress (both chronic and simple): Studies have shown that people who receive massage therapy regularly show a decrease in stress hormones (like cortisol) as well as an increase in immune system cells such as lymphocytes. This increase has been shown to happen even after just one massage!
  • Massage helps you sleep: Massage causes the parasympathetic division of the nervous system to kick in; this helps to promote relaxation and sleep. Sleep encourages the repair and rebuilding of the immune system.
  • You “feel good” after a massage!

Don’t delay! Call 604-530-6227 today to book your massage therapy appointment with one of our registered massage therapists and stay on top of those cold and flu bugs!
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