Can Self-Massage Help Ward Off the Flu? 5 ConsiderationsBeth Rush
Self-massage is a form of therapeutic massage you can do to help heal and relax your body. You can use a massage gun, manual tools or your hands to target muscle groups and improve your overall health.
Can a massage help you get over the flu? The answer might surprise you. Doing a self-massage can stop viruses in their tracks and is one of the best massages for cold and flu.
What Causes the Flu?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least nine million people get the flu yearly. While most healthy kids and adults contract the virus without lasting effects, most people have to give up a week of work, school or hobbies. However, experts estimate 10,000 patients are hospitalized yearly from the flu and half of those individuals pass away.
The influenza virus is the cause of the flu and is always around. The “flu season” occurs during the fall and winter months when you’re inside more often. This is when you can get the flu vaccine based on predicted virus strains for that season.
Like other contagious respiratory viruses, the flu spreads through droplets from coughing, sneezing and being close to one another. You can also get it from touching surfaces with the viruses and then touching your mucous membranes.
The vaccine significantly decreases your chance of severe symptoms, but you could still face infection since it’s hard to predict the exact strain. However, there are other ways to ward off the flu this year.
Can a Massage Help You Get Over the Flu?
Since the flu is a virus, self-massage doesn’t stop it directly but can decrease your susceptibility to it. Here are four reasons you should consider using self-massage to prevent or get over the flu.
- Reduces Stress
Chronic stress is too common in modern society and living with it can suppress your immune system. Working long days, eating fast food, getting little sleep and having toxic social media accounts can affect your mental health. When your body is coping with the mental toll, your immunity suffers.
When your immune system can’t work optimally, you become more susceptible to the flu. Massages release feel-good hormones that reduce your stress levels.
- Increases Lymphocytes
Lymphocytes are immune cells produced in your bone marrow and released into your blood and lymph tissues. These cells aid your immune system in fighting off invaders, such as the flu virus. Research indicates a massage increases the number of lymphocytes in your body, helping your body build defenses against the influenza virus.
- Reduces Pain
Massages relax your muscles, removing tension and decreasing inflammation, leading to less pain. Pain contributes to physical and mental stress, damaging your immune system.
Getting a massage can benefit pain from many injuries and medical conditions. Always consult a medical professional to ensure a massage will help and not cause further problems.
- Improves Circulation
Getting a massage improves your blood and lymph circulation, spreading nutrients around your body and helping it to filter metabolic waste. These processes strengthen your body and remove stress from your immune system.
You might think of a massage as something you must go to the spa for, but that’s no longer true. Self-massaging tools let you massage your body at any time and most are small enough to take on the go. While going out to get a massage is a nice treat, there are many reasons to self-massage — especially during flu season:
- Germs: When you self-massage, you don’t have to worry about the germs you might encounter at a spa massage. You, a previous guest or your massage therapist could spread the flu without realizing you or they have it. This increases your chance of getting it.
- Location: In most scenarios, you need an appointment to get a massage. With self-massaging, you can treat yourself at any time, anywhere.
- Price: You could pay hundreds of dollars depending on where you go and the massage you choose. Once you purchase self-massage equipment, you no longer have to pay for massages.
- Maintenance: If you enjoy going out to get massages, self-massages can help you maintain the effects of the massage between them.
You can self-massage with your hands or with massage guns. There are tutorials out there, but it’s a good idea to speak with a professional before you begin so you can learn the best methods for you.
Using Self-Massage to Ward Off the Flu
Myobuddy wants to help our clients get the most out of our self-massage tools. Our revolutionary equipment can help you fight viruses like the flu by improving your overall health. If you have a question about a product or our other services, contact us and we’ll help you find the answers you need!