Learn about some of the research showing how massage therapy can help you keep healthy and feeling better during cold and flu season...
Only receive massage therapy when you're healthy--if you're not feeling well, reschedule your massage appointment and possibly consult your doctor. Massage therapists are also vulnerable to catching viruses and infections. If you feel like you are coming down with something, it may be best to just stay home and get some rest.
Cold and flu symptoms are often very similar--sinus congestion, coughs, achiness--so what's the best way to tell the difference? Take your temperature--in addition to feeling miserable, the flu often begins with a fever.
While most people will just feel crummy for a few days, it is important to be aware of the differences between the two. Occasionally, symptoms can develop into more severe illnesses such as strep throat or pneumonia. Check out these guidelines from Mayo.
How Massage Can Help You Stay Healthy
In addition to frequent hand washing, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition, massage therapy can help you maintain a strong immune system so you are not as susceptible to catching bugs when they do come around.
Massage doesn't just feel good--it really is good medicine. In addition to improving circulation, stimulating the lymph system, and increasing our "feel-good" neurotransmitters, studies have indicated massage therapy also improves immune function by increasing our body’s natural "killer T cells” and lymphocytes, which fight off viruses and protect us from infection and disease. Research shows that even a single session of Swedish Massage produces measurable biologic effects!
When Is It Not Okay To Get A Massage?
Even though massage has a long list of health benefits and can make you feel good, it's not always a good idea.
"When you have a cold or flu, a massage might seem comforting," says Patricia Coe, DC, ND, clinic supervisor for National University of Health Science. "However, when you have an infection, your body is already working hard to fight it and recover. A massage can be very stimulating internally and place certain demands on your body during a time when you should be simply resting..." Not to mention the discomfort of laying face down on a massage table when your sinuses are plugged or leaky....
Massage therapists are also vulnerable to catching viruses and infections. If you feel like you are coming down with something, it may be best to just stay home and get some rest. Once the bug has passed, massage therapy is a great option for reducing fatigue and replenishing your immune system!
Learn More: When Is It Not Okay to Get A Massage?
Originally published January 13, 2015