Could Massage Boost Your Immune System? “Of Course It Can”

While watching the TV program Trust Me I’m A Doctor” my ears pricked up and really wanted to know about one of the sections in the program.

Could massage boost your immune system?

He went on to say “Massage is one of the oldest therapies in existence.

Well we already knew that one , but guess what,  they should have replaced the words.

 “Could Massage with the words Massage does “

It seems that General Medicine has taken it’s time to catch up with us Massage Therapist.

When you have a patient that comes to you after an injury and you work on them using massage, you notice the difference, you are spending time with them, you notice them healing.

 We know that restoring them back to fitness is the aim.

We know Massage releases the “feel good factor” and there is a reason for that  it is not all about just relaxing, massage helps release Endorphins and  Dopamine, it is the physical input that the therapist applies to the patient  and how it is applied that makes the difference.

In the program they next , teamed up with Professor Fulvio D’Acquisto, an immunologist from the University of Roehampton and the Bodyology Massage School, to show a basic trial

Professor Fulvio had come across research which had found that massage boosted the number of white blood cells, the main interest in this case  being in the  “cells,  a certain  type of white blood cell” and the reaction and results to massage,  for  patients suffering from HIV, this a disease that causes a reduction in the white blood cells known as T Lymphocytes.(I have added the link to the HIV Study.) there is so much to look at and take in that the links are worth a read to put things in perspective.

Scanning electron micro graph of a healthy human T cell

Scanning electron micro-graph of a healthy human T cell (taken from .wikipedia)

There were  two different types of T Cells, helper cells (CD4 T Cells and Cytotoxic or CD8 killer cells, that they were mainly of interested  in the study. 

T cells are matured in the Thymus,(Hence the name T Cells) this is an organ situated under the breastbone, that does most of it’s work when we are children, before puberty it  then turns into fatty tissue, but  T cells are originally produced in the bone marrow, they later move to the Thymus, then when they have matured and the Thymus changes, they are on the move again, they then migrate to the lymph nodes (these are groups of immune system cells) throughout the body, where they work to aid the immune system in fighting disease, clever hardworking little guys these T Cells.

There are also Effector cells and Memory T cells these  may be either CD4+ or CD8 but work differently ( I have also added a link on T Cells to give a bit more information)

Taking blood samples from  Volunteers, before and after massage, so they could do a  cell count this is a blood test that measures the number of T cells in your body. A T cell is a type of white blood cell they  then  analysed the blood test, for the number of T Lymphocytes present, this  became the  baseline reading, they  then checked them again,  comparing  the baseline results, to the results after an hour’s massage.

This  showed a 70 per cent boost in white blood cells after massage.

Scanning electron micrograph of a red blood cell (left), a platelet (center), and a T lymphocyte (right)

Scanning electron micrograph of a red blood cell (left), a platelet (center), and a T lymphocyte (right) (taken from .wikipedia)

This was also a higher reading than they had from the volunteers simply relaxing, the other factor evident, was that in the group that had the massage, their T Cells remained higher after the test.

As T-lymphocytes  perform a wide array of functions in the body involved with growth and repair, both the Killer and Helper  Cells, when   “Thymosin: The Hormone of the Thymus is released,”  this will  help the killer Cells to destroy any bugs in the system, while the helper cells will then go on to then build up the immune system.

This has been of great interest to both myself when using the Bioneuro because of it’s ability to be used during massage and how it effectively  preforms  in boosting recovery, along with its ability to enhance Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy techniques used when treating a patient and the team at Biosysco in further developments of The Bioneuro.I am first and foremost A Sports Massage practitioner voted SMA Therapist of the year 2015/16 my hands are my main tools. I specialise in injury treatment so it needs more to get people back quicker and fully mobile. to do this I use combined Neuromuscular Techniques, the Hydrotherm massage system and The Bioneuro system, this is a tool that I do use in many ways, it can be used as a diagnostic, this means that I can see the exact muscles that are not firing as people often feel pain in one area but the injury may not be in that area it is all to do with Neurotransmission. it also means it can get into deep damaged tissue that normal massage can not get into without causing further damage or pain, the Ultra sound selection is so useful for direct pinpoint treatment people come to me with muscular Soft Tissue injuries in most case's quite sever. My aim is to help everyday people get back to their lives quicker and Painfree

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