Your Immune System and massage
Boost your immune system with these Soma Cura services and classes
Massage, Yoga and salt therapy (Halotherapy) all have been widely shown to benefit the human immune systems and the bodies ability to navigate the health challenges we face on a daily basis. Sometimes these benefits are indirect like by lowering our stress levels (stress robs our immune system of some of its strength) and other times it is more direct by reducing inflammation or increasing white blood cell activity. Below, you can learn about how massage, Yoga and salt therapy can help us aid our immune system and overall health.
Massage helps improve the immune system response
We all know massage reduces stress, but you may not know how damaging stress is to your immune system. But don't take our word for it. Look here for lots more, as clinical as you'd like. Stress and the Immune system search.
Beyond the obvious connections to stress, massage has many other side effects that could aid immunity. Please search for yourself if you have questions, but we believe the body of research on the benefit massage provides your immune system is impressively large.
Massage Increases White Blood Cell Count
White blood cells, or Lymphocytes, are natural killer cells that defend your body from viruses. When you are sick your body produces a stress hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol attacks white blood cells leaving you vulnerable to infection and disease. A 60-minute massage can reduce the production of cortisol, increasing white blood cell count. An increase in white blood cell activity better prepares your body to fight off possible invaders.
Massage Circulates Blood and Lymph, Removing Toxins and Waste
The system that transports natural killer cells that defend your body from viruses is known as the lymphatic system. It is a network of tissues and organs that help move toxins and waste out of the body by way of lymph fluid. Movement of lymph fluid is largely dependent on the squeezing effect of muscle contraction.
Massage facilitates lymph movement by compressing and releasing congested areas. The squeezing and pulling action of massage stimulates circulation that carries waste and toxins away from muscles and internal organs.
Massage Helps Improve Sleep
Another key component to maintain a healthy immune system is getting enough rest. You need about 8 hours of sleep to function properly and fight off illness. Regular poor sleep can lead to higher risk of cold and flu viruses, among many other health conditions.
Massage improves your sleep by activating your parasympathetic or “rest and digest” nervous system. It calms your heart rate and breathing, and increases intestinal and gland activity.
Yoga aids Your Immune System
Like massage, Yoga and meditation helps reduce stress and the negative impacts of stress on your immune system are widely known.
As anyone that has done Yoga before knows, it functions much like a massage in the ways it opens up joints with the various stretches, twists and movements it employs. In this way, it frees things up in the body to be released through systems like the lymph system but it does more than that. As this article in Psychology Today points out, Yoga helps reduce the bodies overall level of inflammation, a chronic problem for many that weakens our immune responses. Psychology Today article on Yoga and Inflammation.
For more, just search for Yoga and your immune system , but you best have some time. There were 39,000,000 results when I last checked.
Salt Therapy (Halo Therapy) and immunity
Salt Therapy is a relaxing, enjoyable treatment whereby a single 40 minute visit is the salt intake equivalent of three days at the beach.
The benefits of salt therapy mostly stem from the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of salt. It helps to blunt the impacts of some of the invaders in our body, reduces inflammation which aids our immune system, and helps remove airborne pathogens from our bodies. So you are asking what is the catch? It is that you have to get a salt treatment. Reading about it does not provide the benefits. Here, more specifically, are some benefits of salt. Like Yoga, a search on this topic provides an overwhelming number of results.
The Top 4 Benefits of Salt Therapy
- Immune System Booster
There’s a good reason why salt is commonly used in food preservation — the antimicrobial properties of salt (NaCl) are extremely impressive. Research has shown that salt reduces bacterial contamination in food from the following bacteria that causes major sickness in humans: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes.
2. Respiratory Ailments
The theory behind dry salt therapy and its ability to improve respiratory problems is that the salt helps to decrease inflammation and open up airway passages while helping to get rid of allergens and toxins from the respiratory system. Many people who make halotherapy a part of their “wellness routine” may find relief from several respiratory health conditions including asthma, allergies, bronchitis, common cold, COPD, cystic fibrosis, ear infections, sinusitis, and even smokers cough
Is there any science to back this all up? Multiple double-blind, government studies demonstrate the positive effects of halotherapy on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Improvements in lung function and decreases in blood pressure have specifically been observed. (Many hospitals in Europe use wet salt generators to cleanse their air!)
3. Skin Conditions
Making salt therapy a regular practice is said to possibly help people with various skin conditions including acne, aging, dermatitis, dry, flaky skin, eczema, itching, psoriasis, rashes, rosacea, and swollen/inflamed skin
4. Reduce Inflammation
Research conducted at The University of Manchester demonstrates another major benefit of salt — its ability to reduce inflammation, which is huge since we know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases. It seems as though the salt-rich brine produces an osmotic gradient through the skin. An osmotic gradient is a pressure caused by water molecules that forces water to move from areas of high water potential to areas of low water potential. The researchers point out that this explains why salty hot springs are known to improve pain associated with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.