Pulse of UTMC

Massage Boosts your Immunity!

The local news reported that the flu is arriving earlier this year. The good news is there is a way to stay healthy besides getting a flu shot. Massage therapy!

Not only does massage make you feel good and help you to sleep better, (along with a whole list of additional benefits), a government funded study found that these sessions may help you ward off diseases, too! Rodale press reported the following:

The details: For the study, published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, the authors recruited 53 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 45 and divided them into two groups: one that received a traditional Swedish massage, and another that received a session of light touch meant to simulate a massage but without any actual massage-therapy techniques. The Swedish massages were all performed by certified massage therapists to ensure uniformity. Each participant had an IV inserted into one arm for the duration of the massage and for a few hours afterward, and blood was drawn at various intervals to measure levels of various hormones and immune system markers.

The authors were working under the theory that massages increase the body’s levels of oxytocin, or “the love hormone,” which itself helps regulate levels of hormones related to stress. Yet, they found that wasn’t the case. People receiving the “light touch” treatment actually experienced higher levels of oxytocin than the massage recipients. But unlike the light touch group, the massage recipients saw significant decreases in stress hormones and increases in the body’s production of various cells that boost immune system response.

What it means: A single massage could help boost your immune system and help you better cope with stress, even if you’re not sick or stressed out. “I’m really intrigued by our findings,” says Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD, professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who adds that he was an “incredible skeptic” about the benefits of massage therapy before doing this study. “I always wondered, what does it do that so many people claim to feel better afterwards?” he says. “We’re finding that biological changes do occur as a result of even a single session of massage, and that these changes may benefit even a healthy individual.”

While it may be enough for most people to know that getting a massage makes them feel better, regardless of what the biological effects are, Dr. Rapaport says that his findings could help advance the use of massage therapy in traditional medicine. Which would be good news for people looking for more options to treat their medical complaints. ”

Boost your happy hormones and stay healthy!

Contact me for an appointment today! Don’t forget, we have package deals and gift certificates available as well. Give the gift of good health this holiday season.

is Licensed in massage therapy,certified since 1979. Worked through the years in a small private practice in Toledo while raising a family and working full time. In 2007 Vicki had an epiphany that led her to enrolling in a local massage school, and obtaining her license with the Ohio State Medical Board. She is certified in oncology massage therapy, and is clinically certified in aromatherapy. In April, 2011, UT Physicians hired her as a massage therapist. She was thrilled to land this position. Vicki has always had a passion for customer service, and this is the ultimate service-to help people feel better through touch applied with intelligence, control & purpose.
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A journal about how the people at UT Medical Center are improving the human condition. UTMC provides compassionate, university-caliber patient care while supporting and enhancing the health education of The University of Toledo.

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