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Jan112011

Flu Fixes: Sex, Good Rubdowns Rev Immunity

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WILKES-BARRE, Penn.) – With seasonal flu season upon us, the gold standards of flu prevention such as vigilant hand-washing and flu vaccination become increasingly important. In addition to these tried and true techniques, however, research suggests a number of complementary therapies that can help prevent and overcome the cold and flu blues.

Sex, a well-known stress-buster, has been shown to have immune-boosting effects when had regularly. A study done at Wilkes University found that those who had sex one to two times a week had elevated levels of IgA, while those who abstained or those who had sex more frequently had significantly lower concentrations of the protein in their system.

Non-sexual touch also confers healthful benefits for a dampened immune system. Though getting a massage is often thought of as a good treatment for sore muscles or a bad back, researchers from the University of Miami School of Medicine find that regular massage treatments boost immunity as well.

Massage increases the activity level and number of the body's natural "killer cells," which fight off pathogens, and decreases the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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