Researchers from the USA have reported that a single massage treatment can produce measurable changes in the immune and endocrine systems of healthy adults. The team compared 29 healthy adults who received a vigorous 45-minute Swedish massage with 24 healthy adults who received a 45-minute session of much milder light-touch massage. Blood samples were taken before the massage and at regular intervals up to one hour after the massage. The results showed positive changes in many immune parameters, including decreased levels of cortisol and anti-diuretic hormone (arginine-vasopressin [AVM), increased numbers of circulating lymphocytes an decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The authors note that their findings may have implications for the management of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. (A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Sep 1).

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