2 Your Health: Massage and Autoimmune Disease: Are There Benefits?

Heidi Overman, LMT

According to the AMTA, in autoimmune diseases, the immune system, which ordinarily defends the body against outside infection, mistakes the body’s own cells, tissues, and organs as foreign—and attacks them accordingly. Some diseases involve one part of the body, such as multiple sclerosis, in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. Others, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, are systemic, affecting the entire body.

Commonly known autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Lupus, MS, and Type 1 diabetes.

Autoimmune diseases are often painful and very disruptive to “normal” life. In some cases, extreme fatigue, mental confusion, headaches, and more, can plague those afflicted.

Examples of the benefits include:

For Lupus, gentle and reflexive massage may be soothing during flares and more rigorous massage during remission may help to deal with pain and stiffness, allowing you to be more active when it’s possible.

Regular massage may help those with MS sleep better, which can help manage stress and depression, thus, reducing the frequency of flares.

Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis can benefit from massage. Regular massage can be effective in reducing pain, stress, and muscle tension, which can help with flexibility.

Though massage cannot cure or fix these issues, it can help relieve some symptoms. I have found that my clients with these issues have had success in pain management, mental clarity, and flexibility through regular massage.

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, please call MEND for an appointment at 520-771-1514. Our website is www.mymendingplace.com, and we’re located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare 15920 N Oracle Rd., Ste 170 Tucson, AZ 85739 (Next to the Golden Goose).