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January 2013

Myofascial Release May Boost Immunity

A new study suggests that myofascial therapies may increase production of certain immunity cells.

Myofascial release involves a gentle form of stretching and compression. The therapy releases the uneven tightness in injured fascia. Fascia is the dense, tough tissue that surrounds and covers the body's organs, muscles and bones. In the normal healthy state the fascia is soft, and it can stretch without restriction. However, following physical trauma or inflammation, fascia loses its pliability and becomes tense.

Myofascial therapy involves a physical therapist locating the area of tightness. A light stretch is applied to the tight area until the area is fully relaxed.

The recent study included 39 healthy males. Participants were randomly assigned to a myofascial therapy group, or a control group that rested. After twenty minutes, researchers measured levels of several types of immune cells: CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, and natural killer cells.

The individuals receiving myofascial therapy had a significantly higher level of CD19 cells, while the control group showed no change in CD19 cell levels. CD19 regulates white blood cells that are involved in an acquired immune response. Significant changes in other types of immune cells were lacking.

For more information about myofascial release, please visit Natural Standard's Health & Wellness database.

References

  1. Fernández-Pérez AM, Peralta-Ramírez MI, Pilat A et al. Can Myofascial Techniques Modify Immunological Parameters? J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Nov 23. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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