Whether you’re facing cold weather, flu season, lack of sleep, a stressful period of life, or even experiencing poor circulation, it’s easy to become vulnerable to sickness – but did you know that receiving a massage is a great trick to staying well?
DRAINS LYMPHATIC SYSTEM:
Our lymphatic system’s main purpose is to balance the fluid and function of our immune system. Lymphatic vessels run parallel to blood vessels and are mainly in the neck, armpits and groin. Massage helps in the process of draining the lymphatic system by filtering out toxins, waste products and other threats going on in the body. Working the muscle and tissue allows sluggish lymph to drain while improving circulation, reducing overall fluid retention and edema in certain parts of the body.
You may have noticed that when we are stressed, we tend to get sick more frequently. Studies show that chronic or long periods of stress can significantly weaken our immune system. When under stress our bodies are in a “fight or flight” mode, which raises our cortisol hormone, leading to a lower white blood cell count as well as lowering our NK cells (the cells that help fight the little bugs).
Massage, when received regularly, helps reduce high cortisol levels, which in return, allows our white blood cell production to increase, putting the body into the parasympathetic state. Massage encourages balance to happen within the body, calming the nervous system leading to a happy, healthier, pathogen protected you.
IMPROVING DIGESTION AND GUT HEALTH:
Stress takes a toll on the digestive system over time. Full body massage can be a great way to help your body process nutrients. Our parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for regulating our digestion, producing the needed chemicals (think saliva, gastric juices and insulin) and restores peristalsis, which helps move food through your digestive tract. During your massage, adding in additional abdominal massage can be a great way to stimulate the intestines and help aid in this process.
Not only is a massage super relaxing and calming, but there are also countless benefits for your body’s immune system that come from a regularly scheduled massage. Do your body a favor this season and book a massage today!
Katie Lowell, LMT