3 Ways Massage Therapy Can Improve Symptoms Of Autoimmune Disorders

Posted on: 21 September 2017


Autoimmune disorders are the result of a faulty immune system. When your immune system does not function properly, it can accidentally attack certain healthy cells in your body. While medications can help alleviate some of the symptoms of autoimmune disorders, they can lead to side effects such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, and drowsiness.

Massage therapy can help decrease certain symptoms of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and lupus, without adverse reactions or side effects. Here are three ways getting a massage may help you feel better if you have a faulty immune system.

Inhibits Release Of Stress Hormones

If you have hyperthyroidism, you may experience a fast heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks. Doctors sometimes prescribe beta blockers for an overactive thyroid to help slow the heart rate and diminish anxiety, however, these can cause faintness, dizziness, and low blood pressure.

Massage therapy can help inhibit anxiety-provoking stress hormones, while lowering your heart rate. It may even help you rest better and night so that you can achieve recuperative sleep, which is very important to people suffering from autoimmune disorders.

When used in conjunction with thyroid medications or beta blockers, massage therapy can be an integral component of your treatment plan when your thyroid is overactive. 

Eases Muscle And Joint Pain 

Gentle massage can also help improve mobility, ease muscle pain and stiffness, and promote circulation and blood flow to painful joints. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience severe joint pain and swelling, muscle pain, an unsteady gait, and difficulty writing or opening jars.

Massaging the affected joints can help reduce swelling and pain, while enhancing flexibility and range of motion. Rheumatoid arthritis not only causes local symptoms such as pain, redness, and inflammation of your joints, it can also lead to systemic symptoms such as general malaise and extreme fatigue.

Massage therapy not only helps with local symptoms, but may also improve your mood and raise your energy level as well. 

Diminishes Systemic Inflammation

Autoimmune disorders can also trigger systemic inflammation due to the release of chemicals known as pro-inflammatory cytokines. Massage therapy can promote the release of "feel-good" substances known as endorphins, which may help suppress the inflammatory process.

Once systemic inflammation has been dampened, you may notice a marked improvement in autoimmune-related pain, stiffness, and fatigue. In addition, not only might a decrease in systemic inflammation help you feel better, it may also enhance the effectiveness of your prescription medications. 

If you have an autoimmune disorder, work with both your doctor and massage therapist to develop of plan of care that will help improve your symptoms. Traditional and alternative therapies complement each other to help you achieve a favorable and symptom-free outcome.