Massages can Alter your Immune System

Here’s another excuse to get a massage (if you needed one). Swedish massages can lower your stress and slightly alter your immune system for the better according to a small research study.

The researchers, from Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, a Los Angeles-based medical centre, found that the Swedish massages reduced arginine vasopressin, a hormone that causes the stress hormone cortisol to increase. The massages also reduced levels of cortisol itself in the body.

Study participants also saw their cytokines — proteins released by stimulated white blood cells when danger is present — decrease, indicating the body did not see itself as under attack during the massage.

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