Our bodies innately want us healthy and this was programmed into our physiological makeup. Our bodies kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and fights disease involuntarily; our bodies have an army of physiological processes that fights to keep us healthy at all times; this army, or main defense system in our body, is called our immune system and we need to keep it strong so it can keep our bodies strong. There are many ways to support our body’s immune system: eating healthy foods, exercise, and detoxification to name a few basic ways. But today we are going to talk about massage therapy and how this ancient bodywork modality, that has been used in various health care systems throughout time, can strengthen our bodies immune system to keep us healthy and fight off disease.
Massage therapy goes very far back in history: According to Allied health who wrote an article about the “History of Massage Therapy and How it Evolved” said, Massage therapy has been traced back to India that was used in ayurvedic medicine practices back in 1500 and 500 BCE, massage therapy was found in china and used in Chinese medicine back in 2700 BCE, and massage therapy was found in Egypt and used in their medical traditions back in 2500 BCE. Currently massage therapy is used globally, it is a part of our health care system here in the US, it is also used medicinally in many other countries, and there is growing scientific evidence showing how therapeutic massage therapy is for the human body. According to A study funded by National Institutes of Health and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that one session of Swedish massage increased immune function (white blood cells). White blood cells are directly correlated to our bodies immune systems army that protects us against viruses, bacteria, and disease. And a follow up study several years later went a step further showing that there were cumulative health benefits to receiving repeated massage therapy. This means over time the health benefits would increase with repeated massage. There were also other health benefits mentioned in several of these studies but I am only focusing on the immune system. Long story short is massage therapy is medicine and it has been around for a very long time because of its health benefits to the human body.
There are many more scientific studies that show correlation in massage therapy supporting the bodies health and wellness, and, this is not a surprise because it has been used in health care practices globally since 500 BCE and maybe even before that. It is important to pay attention to keeping viruses, bacteria, and disease from getting inside our bodies: by washing hands, being aware of what’s clean and what is dirty, and cleanliness to avoid illness and disease; but it is even more important to keep the inside of our bodies healthy and strong to kill whatever viruses, bacteria, and disease get inside us. Thank you.
James Lee Dinsmore, RN, LMT