Monday, September 20, 2010

Holistic Massage Research

Massage Can Help Prevent Sickness

This article is extracted from

A recent study has shown that people who have massages gain the benefit of a ‘tuned’ immune system. Of course the well known benefits of having a massage are also there, such as reduction of stress and easing away of tension, but this new addition is a measurable benefit that hasn’t been recorded before.

The study was carried out by Dr. Mark Rapaport at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He and his colleagues enrolled 53 people in the study. 24 of them received a gentle and light touch type of massage, whereas the other 29 volunteers received a Swedish massage which is the most popular type of massage in the US. The sessions lasted for 45 minutes.

A Blood sample was taken both before and after the massage was performed and the results clearly showed that after one Swedish massage there was a significant and positive change in the composition of the blood.

Dr Rapaport said that "This research indicates that massage doesn't only feel good, it also may be good for you," adding that "People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn't been much physiological proof of the body's heightened immune response following massage until now."

There were three measured benefits that the Swedish massage volunteer group experienced. One was a reduction in cortisol levels which is an adrenal gland hormone that gets released when stress levels go up. The second was a reduction in arginine vasopressin which is a hormone that is connected to aggressive behaviour. The third was a major increase in the disease fighting and preventing lymphocytes (white blood cells) in the body.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published the study.

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