Staying in Touch®
Hello, and welcome to the May 2022 newsletter! How are you doing? Are you making time to keep your health a priority?
Both of this issue’s articles are excerpts from longer stories found online. The main article is a reminder of some of the key health benefits your regular massages offer you.
To elaborate on one benefit—better sleep—take a look at one aspect shared online by Shamard Charles, MD:
The Importance of Sleep
When you sleep, your body produces proteins called cytokines that have immune-boosting effects and serve as fuel for your white blood cells. Lack of sleep decreases the production of cytokines and makes you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses.
As you can see, there are many subtle health benefits from regular massage that some people don’t realize.
The second article discusses the effects pain meds can have on your immune system, particularly when used at the time you get a vaccination—good info to have.
Keep massage a priority; see you soon for your next relaxing massage session!
Mental and Physical Benefits of Getting Regular Massages
by Jennifer Barns
There are many physical and mental benefits of getting regular massages. Some people go for massages to relieve pain, while others enjoy the relaxation and stress-relieving effects. Here are some mental and physical benefits of getting regular massages:
Pain Relief— How does massage help to handle pain? As an example, a shoulder massage can improve blood flow to the area, relieving pain. When you have tight muscles, massage therapy can relax and loosen them, relieving tension. It can improve circulation and soothe sore muscles. Pain relief is probably the most common reason for getting a massage. It is used for many types of pain, including backache, neck problems, and headaches.
Better Sleep— A recent study showed that people who got regular massages had more restful sleep. The more tension your muscles hold, the harder it is to relax and get to sleep. Massage can improve sleep because it decreases stress, soothes muscles, improves blood flow, and relaxes tension. If you don’t get enough sleep, you have less energy and can feel tired, sluggish, and irritable. It also makes sense that people who get regular massages and get to sleep better can have a better quality of life.
Better Immunity— People who get massages often report less stress and better immune systems. When your body is relaxed, your immune system can function better. Having a massage can help you to improve your health. Skin is the largest organ in the body. When the skin is relaxed, blood flow increases, which stimulates the immune system. Massage can help with a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, asthma, allergies, heart disease, depression, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, and more.
Better Mood— People who get massages often report less stress and better moods. You can feel more relaxed, more positive, and more optimistic after a good massage. Massage releases endorphins, the body’s own natural painkillers, and when the brain starts producing these endorphins, you feel better. It’s like a drug with no side effects. When your body is relaxed, you can have a more positive and happy outlook on life.
Lower Blood Pressure— In addition to helping your body heal itself, massage can also help your body regulate blood pressure. Research shows that stress can increase blood pressure. When you are relaxed, your blood pressure can decrease. ...
Common Pain Relievers Can Weaken Immune System’s Defense Against Infectious Diseases
by John Anderer
Virtually every medicine is known to cause at least a few unintended side effects, but have you ever wondered how meds like aspirin or opioids may be affecting your immune system? Scientists from the University of Sydney investigated immune responses linked to acetaminophen (Tylenol), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, and opioid analgesics with a specific focus on infectious diseases. The findings were mixed, remarkable, and hold major implications toward combating various infectious conditions — including COVID-19.
Some drugs appear to strengthen the body’s immune defenses against infections, while others can actually weaken the immune system. For example, morphine appears to suppress key immune cells and increase infection risk (especially after cancer surgery). Moreover, antipyretics — pain relief medications like acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol), ibuprofen, aspirin — also show a tendency to “reduce desirable immune responses when taken for vaccination.”
“One of the problems is that widely used pain medicines have been around for decades and in the past we didn’t tend to consider their impacts on the immune system because it has been an under-recognized area,” concludes study co-author Professor Ric Day from UNSW and St Vincent’s Hospital, in a statement. “From community use to hospital and acute care, these classes of pain and fever medications are among the most popular drugs worldwide, but we need to consider the significant impact these can have on our immune system and our response to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.”
Interestingly, this project all started as an investigation into solely acetaminophen during the pandemic. Many people hoarded the pain reliever during the early days and weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our review shows some of the common pain and fever medications may work with the immune system to fight infection, whereas others work against it and increase the risk of contracting or responding badly to infectious diseases,” Dr Abdel-Shaheed explains. “Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen before or immediately after vaccination — for example for COVID-19 — to try to prevent mild fever or headache is not recommended, because this could reduce the body’s desirable immune response to the vaccine.
The study is published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.
— Ralph Marston
The content of this article is not designed to replace professional medical advice.
If you’re ill, consult a physician.
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