Massage: A Benefit for Allergy Sufferers

Massage is a benefit for those suffering from Allergies

Springtime is when many of our clients suffer from seasonal allergies. We see a lot of sneezing, sniffling, runny noses, itchy eyes and skin and coughing. We constantly hear about those painful sinus headaches. It’s now estimated that one out of five Americans experience allergies.

Many of our clients rely on massage as a good, natural way to handle the allergic reactions without the constant fatigue and sleepiness that can be caused by some of the allergy medications.

Allergies are simply a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. When an allergic person encounters a foreign object, such as pollen, the body overreacts and releases specific chemicals called histamines. When the histamines are released into the system, an inflammatory response occurs. This is known as the allergic reaction.

Massage therapy strengthens the immune system and, while the healing power of touch alone can create feelings of relaxation and general well-being, it also inhibits the brain from releasing chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction. In addition, massage increases the alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves occur after things like meditation, day dreaming—or massage–and it’s often suggested that the greatest relaxation, alertness and creativity occurs during this brain phase.

What’s more, massage lowers the heart rate, regulates blood pressure, improves blood circulation and stabilizes blood sugar levels. There’s also a hormonal response. Endorphins are increased; they are those natural substances that promote feelings of health, happiness and general well-being. Stress hormones, on the other hand, are decreased; these are cortisol and adrenaline.

All this, combined with the state of relaxation, strengthens the immune system.

Massage Can Relieve Chest Congestion and Stuffy Sinuses

One of the benefits of massage is that it improves lung function, a boon to those allergy sufferers who experience coughing, chest and nasal congestion.

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.

If you are interested in trying a massage to help relieve you of your allergy symptoms, please speak to one of our massage professionals for more information. Call 212.695.9559