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Posted on 04-03-2015

Massage Can Boost the Immune System, even just one massage

Everyone knows massage therapy is relaxing and feels great. Massage is also an effective tool for maintaining good health. I came across a study recently by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. They reported that a single massage produced measurable changes in specific immune and endocrine system attributes of healthy adults.
The researchers, led by Dr. Mark Rapaport, studied 29 adults that  received a 45-minute Swedish massage and 24 others  received a 45-minute light touch massage, a much milder therapy that served as a comparison or control for the more vigorous Swedish massage. Blood samples were taken before the massage began and one hour after the massage.
The researchers found several changes in the blood tests of the Swedish massage group that indicated a beneficial effect on the immune system of the patient.   Swedish massage caused a notable decreases in Arginine Vasopressin, a hormone that can contributes to aggressive behavior, and small decreases in the stress hormone Cortisol.  Swedish massage participants also had an increase in white blood cells called Lymphocytes, cells that help the immune system defend the body. 
These findings indicate that massage doesn't just feel good, it is also good for you.  Dr. Rapaport said in a news release. "People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn't been much physiological proof of the body's heightened immune response following massage until now." 
Massage is a significant wellness intervention, and can be used to help maintain health not just treat pain.

This study was published in the October 2010 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

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