Hard to believe it is getting to be that time of year again. What time you ask? School time! Books, bags, lunch box, immune health...?? Many of us are wondering if this school year is going to be a repeat of last year. With a little luck, hopefully not. Even so, the stressful mad rush to finish
the checklist of everything needed to get the kiddies ready for the upcoming school year tends to wear us out. This can weaken our immune system, which is never a good thing but especially with the cold and flu season just around the corner. Not to mention that other (corona)virus we have become all too familiar with!
There are many things that can help keep your immune system healthy: eating nutritious foods, regular exercise, meditation, mindfulness, getting a therapeutic massage. The list goes on and on. It is well known that massage helps you manage stress by having a calming effect, but did you know that it can improve your immune health as well? Massage can detoxify your body by increasing both white blood cell count and lymph flow. White blood cells help to fight off bacteria and viruses in the body and are elevated in people with lower stress levels (why healthy people don’t get sick as often). Lymph flow is a pump-less system that is considered the “garbage truck of the human body”. This is because it filters out all the trash in your blood stream and transports it to the dump for removal. Your lymph flows with movement: think of it like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. When you press the tube, the toothpaste moves down until it comes out the end. The lymphatic system works similarly in that the manual pressure of massage causes your muscles to relax and contract and this leads to an increase in lymph flow, ultimately removing the unwanted stuff in your body and dumping it into the waste for permanent removal.
So, the benefits of massage go beyond just relaxation, tissue healing, and other known effects. It is one of the best ways to assure a stronger immune system!
Fun fact: People are also less likely to catch a cold when they are happy because they are more active and that boosts the immune system!