Research demonstrates that therapeutic massage is an ideal method for supporting an HIV - infected person's immune system.
Therefore massage therapy, combined with compassion and care, can be an important treatment to help on the way to recovery.
Due to the stigma of HIV, the hands-on intimacy of massage therapy provides a great psychological benefit to a client with HIV.
Adolescents who received massage therapy as opposed to those who experienced relaxation therapy, reported feeling less anxious, less depressed and demonstrated enhanced immune function.
A recent study of massage's impact on HIV - positive children.
Researchers observed a marked increase in natural killer cells in HIV - positive children receiving massage therapy than those who did not receive massage. Natural killer cells are unique in that they attack only cells infected by a microbe. The children who did not receive massage had a steady decrease of these important immune cells, while those receiving treatment either remained stable or had an increase in natural killer cells.
Why massage works for HIV.
Massage boosts the immune system function by:
Reducing anxiety and stress.
Increasing white blood cell counts.
Decreasing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Activating natural killer cells.
Massage can also decrease pain by relieving:
General body tension.
Additionally, by increasing blood flow, massage assists in the removal of toxins while increasing oxygen and nutrients to areas with symptoms.
Also very therapeutic, increasing endorphins in the body, the feel good hormone.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal condition expressed in widespread pain all over the body. Fibromyalgia can occur on its own or linked to stressful events, repetitive injuries, illness and certain diseases. Pain can be managed, and massage for fibromyalgia patients is one way to practice pain management.
The following benefits of therapeutic massage have been proven to help fibromyalgia sufferers.
Massage will help to improve sleep, as it encourages relaxation, allowing the body to repair and rejuvenate at night more effectively.
Helping to restore and strengthen lethargic muscles.
Improving mental clarity, raising healthy awareness and relieving mental stress.
Improving blood flow to the brain can help relieve headaches.
Massage can restore homeostasis of the body, diminishing the effects of anxiety and depression.
Fibromyalgia can be hard to treat, so requires a team approach from a doctor, a physical therapist, and a pain or rheumatology clinic. Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep also help.
Many clients claim that regular therapeutic massage sessions keep their pain under control, and restoring strength and vitality to the body.