(MAHASKA COUNTY, Iowa) – The cold and flu season is well upon us, when the weather gets cooler and germs are more prevalent. A massage to boost the immune system would be a good way to stay healthy, energized and reduce stress.
According to the American Massage Association, medical studies have found that massage may boost the body’s immunity. Several studies have measured the stress hormone called cortisol in subjects’ saliva before and after massage sessions, and found dramatic decreases. Cortisol, which is produced when you are stressed, kills cells important for immunity, so when massage reduces your stress levels and hence the cortisol in your body, it may help you avoid getting a cold or another illness while under stress.
Mahaska Health Partnership Licensed Massage Therapist Michelle Hynick said studies have also found that massage relieves stress by lowering blood pressure, relaxing muscles and increasing endorphins. “Massage is great for relaxation,” Hynick said. “It improves mental outlook, promotes relaxed states of mental alertness and enhances calm and creative thinking. I think many of us could use some relaxation after the holiday season.”
Hynick explained that massage techniques move the blood through the body which brings oxygen-rich blood to tense and/or sore muscles, which help them heal and rejuvenate. The squeezing and pulling techniques of massage also flush lactic acid from the muscles which improves circulation of lymph fluid that carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs.
Recent scientific research also proves that massage therapy increases immune function, decreases stress levels and reduces recovery time in many medical conditions including:
- Depression and Anxiety
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Asthma and Bronchitis
- Circulatory Problems
- Sports Injuries
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
“Another great benefit of massage is relief of tension-related headaches,” Hynick explained. “Massage has been proven to decrease occurrences of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms. It allows people to maintain a level of relaxation and stress-relief, reducing the chances of stress induced migraines.
“While some people still consider massage a luxury, research continues to prove it also has many important health benefits,” Hynick said. “Massage can help you maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being, especially when it is part of your wellness routine.”
MHP Massage Therapy offers a variety of massage options and extended hours. It is staffed by Hynick and Licensed Massage Therapist Esther Rose. For more information or to schedule a massage, call MHP Massage Therapy at 641-672-3181.