Here’s a good way to fight back during cold and flu season: Get a massage. Research shows that it can keep your immune system in top fighting form.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, studies (in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) examined the effects of Swedish massage therapy on the body’s hormonal response and immune function, and found that participants who received massage therapy had an increase of lymphocytes (cells that boost the immune system and help shield the body from harmful substances). Also, not surprisingly, those who got massaged had lower stress hormones, which can also help to defend the immune system.