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Surviving cold and flu season


November 6, 2010

Andrew Wolfe

Harvest season is upon us again. It is a time to gather and take in the bounty of our labors. It is also a time of reflection, a time to look within and assess our needs, to take inventory and appreciate what we have.

In the medical community and with the reminders in the media, we realize it is also cold and flu season, a time when we can deplete our immune system. When this happens, the suffering extends beyond the individual to all those around them.

As a society we have been informed of communicable diseases and how they are spread. There are many over-the-counter products as well as pharmaceuticals available to take in order to relieve signs and symptoms of the cold or flu. However, prevention is always the best means of intervening in the disease process. It is the responsibility of the individual to maintain his or her own health and wellbeing.

You probably know the benefits of taking vitamins, eating healthy, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly and getting adequate amounts of sleep. Have you ever thought about getting a massage as a health benefit?

There are health studies, one specifically in the October issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, which found that getting even one massage boosts your immune system.

The study drew blood samples from the test patients prior to and after a massage. One group received a vigorous Swedish massage and another test group was provided light touch massage. This study found that the patients who received the vigorous Swedish massage had a beneficial change in their blood levels, improving their immune system compared to the other group.

Relaxation is not the only benefit of massage therapy. Eliminating toxins is another benefit. Massage therapy helps eliminate toxins and byproducts in the system by way of the lymph and blood through the muscle manipulation and movement of the tissues. Stress, especially long-term stress, adversely affects our bodies.

Massage therapy need not be just for those seeking pampering. There is a wider audience than ever before looking at the rehabilitation, disease prevention and maintenance of health through massage therapy. It is a natural and effective means of maintaining health and creating a positive sense of wellbeing.

Dollar for dollar, a massage from a qualified professional LMT is an extremely economical and healthful way to boost your immune system and maintain vigorous health.

Andrew Wolfe, LMP, is an Arlington licensed massage practitioner with 23 years of experience. Wolfe can be reached at (360) 653-4657 or


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