Sunday, August 16, 2015

A 45 minute Swedish Massage can help you stay healthier!

Results of a Study of the Effects of a Massage on the Immune System

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

As a long distance runner, I am constantly looking for ways to improve my health so that I can stick to my training schedule.

The 1989 Loma Linda University study, 'Effects of Long-Endurance Running on Immune System Parameters and Lymphocyte Function in Experienced Marathoners' found that "exhaustive endurance exercise in marathon runners is associated with many significant perturbations in immune system parameters, most of which return to normal levels at 21 h of recovery." Even though I am not a marathon runner of ultrarunner, I am lowering or "perturbing" my immune system for an entire day after my long run. I want to do healthful things to improve my immune system the rest of the week.

I do not get a massage immediately after running, but I have included massage as one of my wellness practices, because of its positive effects on my immune system. A 2010 study from the Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychaitry and Behavioral Neurosciences found that healthy adults can benefit from a single 45 minute Swedish massage.

According to the article, "Adults Demonstrate Modified Immune Response After Receiving Massage, Cedars-Sinai Researchers Show" on the Cedars-Sinai website, results included "significant changes in lymphocyes ...a large decrease in Arginine Vasopressin (AVP) a hormone believed to play a role in aggressive behavior and linked to helping cause increases in the stress hormone cortisol ...a decrease in levels of the stress hormone cortisol (and) ...a notable decrease in most cytokines produced by stimulated white blood cells.

Read more about the study here:

The Abstract of 'A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals' by Mark Hyman Rapaport, Pamela Schettler, and Catherine Bresee and published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine on October 2010 is here:

What do you do to improve your immune system during your long distance running training?

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