According to WebMD, 75-90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Stress plays a part in health issues such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
People who experience high levels of stress, or become stressed out easily, tend to get sick more often than others who do not. High levels of stress can negatively affect a person’s immune system. When you are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released. Cortisol suppresses the immune system and inflammatory pathways, rendering the body more susceptible to disease.
Massage therapy is a process by which a therapist manipulates the muscles, tissues, and tendons in the human body into a more relaxed state. This process is usually carried out with the use of their hands and fingers, although the use of special tools may be used to maneuver the recipient's body.
Massage therapy has two positive effects on the body: physiologically and psychologically. Massages relax the body and calm the mind. Muscles are stretched and loosened so that the body is no longer tense while the action of a massage can deepen an individual's breathing and lower their heart rate and blood pressure. Overall, a massage can make a person feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Clinical studies have even shown that regular massages can not only ease stress but can also increase the immune system's cytotoxic capacity, which is the body’s "killer cells" that attack threats to the immune system. They are the body’s first line of defense against an illness.