Massage for Allergies
What are Allergies?
The term allergy may be used to describe the reaction produced by the body when it encounters something foreign. When an allergic reaction occurs, the body responds by producing antibodies and/or releasing specific chemicals called histamines. When released into the system, these histamines trigger an inflammatory response otherwise known as an allergic reaction. Common allergens include certain drugs, dusts, moulds, insect bites, plants and foods.
Benefits of Massage for Allergies
Massage therapy may relieve many symptoms of allergies, as well as create feelings of relaxation and good health in the allergic individual via massage’s healing power of touch.
Through touch, massage pushes down on nerve cell receptors under the skin, activating the nervous system and stimulating the release of mood-enhancing chemicals such as dopamine or serotonin. Massage also generates a calming effect through the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the body’s level of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) that are often found responsible for an allergic response.
Massage works by stimulating the release of natural endorphins, creating a natural high that may help relieve a person from their allergic symptoms. Brain activity is also altered with massage, with the alpha brain waves being increased producing a state of relaxation.
The reduced level of stress hormones and state of relaxation combined also strengthen the immune system which is then able to react less to certain allergens.
Allergic individuals are likely to also experience a stabilization of blood sugar, increased immunity and improved lung function from massage therapy which all combined help reduce the severity and rate of allergic reactions.
Massage Reduces Stress That May Trigger Allergies
Massage induces the body into a state of relaxation, inciting a biological mechanism that inhibits the brain from releasing chemicals that trigger a physical allergic reaction. Massage also reduces stress levels and therefore keeps your allergies in check by lowering the heart rate, regulating blood pressure and by improving blood circulation.
Massage Alleviates Symptoms of Allergies
Mucous resulting in the nose and throat from an allergic reaction may be cleared with massage. Phlegm is loosened with a gentle tapping on the area above the chest, and with long slow strokes from the chest to the throat that encourages mucous expulsion.
Sinus allergy symptoms may also be relieved with a good sinus/facial massage. This works to clear any allergy sinus congestion by using acupressure techniques upon the head and face, and by using finger pressure to stimulate mucous expulsion via the mouth and nostrils.
Massage should be seen only as a complimentary therapy for symptoms of allergies, and is in no way a replacement for required medications. If you are interested in trying a massage to help relieve you of your allergy symptoms, please speak to a massage professional for more information.