Allergies affect millions of people all over the world and for most, the spring and fall seasons tend to be when allergies flare up the most which can be a miserable experience. The term allergy is used to describe a reaction produced by the body when it encounters something foreign. The body may respond to these foreign entities by producing antibodies or releasing specific chemicals known as histamines. The histamines trigger an allergic reaction or inflammatory response.
When allergies occur, many people reach for over-the-counter remedies. And while they can be beneficial, they are not meant to be taken long term and over time, they can have some adverse effects. But there is something that can be done that most people don’t consider when it comes to allergies…massage therapy.
Massage therapy has a lot of benefits. And here are five ways that massage therapy can help you deal with your allergies:
- Massage can reduce stress – In today’s society and high paced world, there is more stress and anxiety than ever before. In fact, almost 40 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety. And many studies show that increased stress levels can be linked to higher levels of histamines in the body. Regular massages can decrease stress hormones like cortisol and histamines, while significantly reducing the anxiety that we feel daily.
- Massage relieves muscle tension – The most common reason that people seek out a massage therapist is because of muscle aches and pains. And during allergy season it can be even worse because every cough or sneeze puts added tension on the muscles, leading to more achiness. When the massage therapist starts alleviating the muscle tension, the sinuses will open up and drain, helping to alleviate allergy symptoms.
- Massage improves circulation – Massage can increase circulation for many hours and even days after receiving the treatment. Massage facilitates circulation because the pressure created actually moves blood through congested areas. The release of the pressure also causes freshly oxygenated blood to rush into the area being treated. The squeezing and pulling actions also flush lactic acid out of the tissues, thus improving the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid.
- Massage improves your immune system – Studies show that people who receive regular massage also have increased numbers of lymphocytes in their bodies. Lymphocytes are white blood cells and they are major players in the body’s defense system. With increased lymphocytes, there is less chance that your body will be unable to handle an allergic attack.
- Massage can combat insomnia and improve sleep – Sleep studies have shown a strong correlation between weekly massage and fewer bouts of insomnia. This is because massage relaxes the body and decreases stress, which leads to improved sleep. When allergies are in high gear, sleep is vital for the body to heal itself. Massage can help with that.
This is a short list of how massage can help you fight your allergies. Come see one of our licensed massage therapists – it might lead to the easiest allergy season you’ve ever experienced!