Cold and flu season is here! Everyone is trying to find the best remedy to avoid getting sick. Whether you’ve tried different natural supplements or have gotten vaccinated, the goal is to boost your immune system. Receiving massage therapy treatment can actually help boost your immune system and prevent common colds and flues.

You might be wondering how?

Massage Therapists use various techniques that can be beneficial for illness prevention and symptom relief.  Research shows that general Swedish massage increases circulation, therefore increasing the circulation of white blood cells within the bloodstream. The white blood cells are the body’s soldiers and are responsible for fighting against unknown substances in your system (such as bacteria and viruses). With a greater amount of white blood cells in your system, your immune system becomes more effective towards fighting infections and your chances of becoming sick decreases.

Lymphatic drainage techniques can also help reduce congestion and excess waste in the lymphatic vessels, the lymph nodes and the tonsils. The lymphatic system plays a major role in the body’s immunity. This system’s job is to help evacuate waste and toxins from the body. It also contains specific white blood cells (lymphocytes) which target pathogens. Therefore, it is important to keep the lymphatic system clear in order to promote better health.

Don’t forget about stress

It is also important to remember the role stress plays in our health. When you are stressed, it actually harms your immune system by releasing hormones that occupy your immune system, increasing the chances of pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, of attacking you.

Massage therapy can help reduce your stress levels and therefore increase your overall immune system. It can also relieve various symptoms such as headaches, aches and pains, and congestion caused by colds and flues. Drainage, percussion, and mobilization techniques help reduce congestion in the nose, ears, sinuses, neck, throat, and chest areas. By relieving the excess mucus and swelling in those congested areas, you will certainly feel much better!

When you shouldn’t receive massage therapy treatment

Although massage therapy is great for relieving symptoms of cold and flues, there are also times when it is not ideal to receive treatment. When you are in the acute stage of your illness, when you have a fever, or when you “feel contagious”, it is best for you to stay home and rest than to receive a massage. If you receive treatment when your symptoms are severe or at their worst, your symptoms will most likely worsen after the treatment. Your body is already working hard to fight the illness. The treatment can actually create an overload due to the increase in circulation and liberation of toxins. It is also better for the massage therapist and other clients of the clinic if you do not share your cold or flu symptoms with them.

Even though treatment during acute stages of a cold or flu can have unfavourable effects, there are many occasions when you can benefit from a therapeutic massage. As explained earlier, massage therapy is a great asset to prevent sickness and relieve symptoms. I conclusion, if you know you have a low immune system or if you feel a cold or flu coming on or if your symptoms are mild, then it may be a good idea to seek massage therapy treatment. Be proactive this cold and flu season and give your immune system a chance to fight back!