Massage is one of the oldest forms of therapy and has been shown to reduce aches, pains and tension as well as improve sleep, flexibility, energy levels and circulation. To add to its list of benefits, massage can also help you to ward off viruses by boosting your immune system.
A 2010 study by researchers in Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles was the largest study of its kind to discover whether massage affects the body's immune response. The researchers found that massage creates measurable changes in the body's immune system.
After only a single massage, participants experienced a significant increase in white blood cells. These cells play a large role in defending the body from disease. Not only that, the massage also caused a decrease in cortisol, the body's stress hormone. When the body and mind are stressed, our immune defences are lowered, making us more susceptible to infections.
A follow-up study in 2012 went a step further, showing that there were cumulative health benefits to repeated massage.
Another study from the University of Roehampton in Britain, in conjunction with the BBC, found that the participants' lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, increased by up to 70% after a massage.
Lymphocytes perform many growth and repair functions in the body which could go some way to explaining the science behind the amazing health benefits of massage and explain why massage can help with so many conditions.
In addition to regular massage, there are other healthy choices you can make to strengthen your immune system, including time management to reduce stress, exercise, eating a healthy well-balanced diet and getting plenty of quality sleep.
Having a massage chair in your home enables you to have regular massages at your convenience, boosting your immune system, lowering your stress levels, improving your general health and making you mentally and physically stronger to help fight off infections.