If you’ve read my blog before, you know that massage has incredible effects on all areas of your body, and can be a complimentary treatment for just about all medical conditions. Massage provides positive outcomes for each of the twelve systems of the body. In order to understand how massage can help you and any illnesses you may have, it is important that you understand how the systems of your body work and what effects massage has on them. Check back on my blog weekly for a series of entries on each body system. This week: Your immune system.
HOW DOES YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM WORK?
Your immune system isn’t technically a body system. Rather, it is a collection of different organs from other body systems that work together to fight off illness and keep your tissues safe from infection. Your body is a pretty amazing considering everything it’s capable of. Think about it! Your immune system identifies pathogens and foreign bodies and attacks them in an effort to maintain your health. Let’s take a look at some of the star players in your immune system.
Lymph nodes: Your lymph nodes create cells that attack pathogens. They also create lymph fluid that carries the disease-fighting cells.
Leukocytes: These are your white blood cells. They actively attack any foreign body, ridding your body of potentially harmful substances.
Lymphocytes: These are another kind of white-blood cells. B-cells create antibodies that attack toxins, and T-cells destroy cancerous cells or cells that have been infected.
Check out the video below of white blood cell seeking out and attacking a bacterium.
These are the main components of your immune system, but there are more! Your immune system is extremely complex and isn’t infallible, but it protects you more than you realize.
WHAT DOES MASSAGE DO FOR YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Massage increases the flow of many circulating substances in your body, including lymph fluid. This means that massage helps create a more mobile environment for your white blood cells, allowing them to get where they need to be more efficiently.
Studies also suggest that receiving regular massage helps boost production of “natural killer” cells and white blood cells. This means increased immunity and better defense against foreign substances.
A study done by the Touch Research Institute of Miami found that 80 percent of women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer showed improved immune function after receiving massage three times a week for five weeks!
This concludes our look at how massage affects the different systems of your body. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series, and I hope you are now convinced that massage therapy is so much more than just a luxury. Sure, it feels really good to get a massage, but your health benefits from it in so many ways!
Body Systems Series