With the Coronavirus forcing us to wonder whether we should even step foot outside the door, we’re all thinking about the key factors in how to improve your immune system. And decrease our chance of getting sick. Regardless of whether we have any of the cough, fever and breathlessness symptoms, we figured it was time to tell you about one of the less known health benefits of massage.
Massage will not only relax you, but it has a ton of other health benefits too. It lowers your blood pressure, boosts your circulation and improves digestive disorders.
But here’s the biggy. In the face of COVID 19, research has confirmed that massage will help to boost your immune system.
One such study was published in October last year by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. So, if you’re wondering how to improve your immune system, then read on, because massage is a fabulous tool towards improved health.
Yep, we hear you. Massage you cry? How can a massage improve my immune system?
So, here’s what the study found. Massage increased the number of lymphocytes in the participant’s systems. These are the white blood cells that are in charge of defending your body from disease. It stands to reason that the more of these little guys we have knocking around, the more resilient we will be to those pesky bacterial that are floating around in our air at the moment.
Here’s a quote from a statement the researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles published.
“This research indicates that massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,” said study researcher Dr Mark Rapaport, chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences, at Cedars-Sinai.
On top of that, the clinical study measured physical improvements.
Those who received a massage had lower levels of cytokines. These are the molecules that reduce inflammation. The effects were strong even in people who had chronic levels of inflammation such as those suffering from microbiome conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease and depression. These are precisely the types of patients at a higher risk of Coronavirus.
The researcher in charge of the research project also went on to say,
“People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn’t been much physiological proof of the body’s heightened immune response following massage until now.”
The participants of received a Swedish massage. The study was carried out In the study, 29 participants received 45 minutes of Swedish massage protocol. Their blood was taken via intravenous catheters, which took blood samples during the study period.
This is a wonderful piece of research that we have been waiting for in the therapy world. But here’s the thing. We’ve been quiet. People aren’t aware that massage is one of the best ways to naturally improve your immune system.
Here’s another study which looked into could massage boost your immune system.
Professor Fulvio D’Acquisto, an immunologist from the University of Roehampton and the Bodyology Massage School teamed up with the BBC to run this research study into whether massage can boost your system’s ability to fight infection, thus boosting immunity.
Here’s what they found.
Massage boosts the number of white blood cells in patients suffering from HIV, a disease that causes a reduction in a type of white blood cell known as T Lymphocytes.
Research participants had their T cells analysed before the research commenced as a baseline reading for how their body would be able to react to infections after massage. They were then asked to lie down for an hour before anything else happened to ensure that the increase in cells wasn’t due to the body simply relaxing.
Then they had an hour’s massage, after which they had another blood test.
The results shows massage boosts immunity
A 70 percent boost in white blood cells.
T-lymphocytes perform a wide array of immune system functions in the body, which include growth and repair. This could explain why massage has been reported to help with so many health conditions, as we mentioned above.
Extended antibacterial cleaning routine.
And here’s the thing, we’re not resting on our laurels here. We know people are actively searching out how to improve your immune system. So we’ve stepped up.
As normal, we are only working from our own base. We have massage therapy rooms in Gidea Park, Romford. We have stepped up our normal cleaning routine and now, after every client, we clean every surface that has been touched with an antibacterial spray. You don’t have to worry about catching anything from any of our previous clients, and as long as you are healthy and aren’t suffering from any of the effects of Coronavirus, we’ll be delighted to take your appointment.
We’re sure you all know this by now, but what are the main flu-like symptoms you need to look out for making sure that you self isolate?
*A high temperature above 37.8C (100F)
*A new continuous cough.
So, if you have either of these, then you need to keep yourself to yourself, we’re afraid. But, if you don’t, and like us, you do not want to get them, book in now for a massage to help improve your immune system.
You may be wondering if there is anything else that you can do to improve the function of your body’s ability to find infections.
You could exercise. There are a few really good home workouts online. Here’s a really great one.
Adding vitamin supplements to the foods you eat could also help, even generally in avoiding getting colds and a normal strain of flu. Let’s face it, in this climate, if you get a cold, you’re bound to self isolate, anyway.
Some vitamins and minerals that are best for boosting your immunity and why
* Vitamin C — probably the biggest immune system booster. Did you know that a lack of vitamin C can make you more prone to getting sick?
*Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system so dose up with those tablets.
*Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection so throw that into the mix too.
*Zinc is a mineral that keeps your immune system strong, helps heal wounds, plus it supports normal growth.
Foods that are best for strengthening your immune system. And why.
While we’re all about making sure you get enough vitamins, we don’t think there is ever any substitute for a great balanced diet. At this time, when we’re all asking how to improve your immune system, scientists suggest eating garlic, turmeric, ginger and broccoli.
Of course there are a ton of other foods that are rich in the antioxidants that improve your respiratory system, so here’s a few that you can work into your nutrition plan over the next weeks and months (you may even have some fun creating recipes with them in your new found down time).
Watermelon improves your immunity.
One 2-cup serving of watermelon has:
*270 mg of potassium
*25% of the value of vitamin C
*30% of the daily value of vitamin A
*Calories in watermelon are minimal
Elderberry are not only tasty but packed with antioxidants and vitamins. But they specifically improve your immune system in the way that helps the symptoms of Coronavirus. They can help tame inflammation and protect your heart. If you get a cold or flu, then experts say these tiny berries will also help its symptoms. Other deep red coloured foods are also good* because they contain beta carotene so look for red bell peppers, grapes and berries and sweet potatoes. Did you also know that cooked tomatoes are better for you than raw, which is in contrast to most other vegetables.
Shiitake mushroom is an excellent food choice if you’re wondering how to improve your immune system. It is high in nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, niacin, and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. This is why cancer patients are often advised to blend these mushrooms into a soup along with some garlic — because these micronutrients boost your immune system and thus your body’s ability to fight the infection.
Pomegranate juice contains the wonderful vitamin C as well as other immune-boosting nutrients including vitamin E which means that this fruit is a great choice to enjoy whilst supporting your body in preventing illness and fighting off infections.
The added benefit is that pomegranates have also proven to be antibacterial and antiviral in lab tests and are currently being studied for their effects on common infections and viruses. But their juice is delicious, so don’t hang around waiting for the results. What’s the harm in working these gems into your diet today? Other citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons are also great.
Oysters contain zinc. This is known to have virus-fighting powers, that, like massage, it creates and activate white blood cells. And as we know already, these are involved in the immune response.
The role of alcohol.
Normally you wouldn’t expect a holistic health expert to be talking about the wonders of alcohol on their blog. But, there is a ton of evidence that suggests that if you’re looking for an antibacterial god, then alcohol applied to your skin or surfaces helps to kill off bacterial and reduce its spread and thus your chances of infection. Sorry we’re not talking about drinking here.
The problem however is that the stores are empty. There’s no decent anti-bacterial gel around, the cleaning fluids are depleted and we’re left without access to the products we need to fight the source of the virus.
Here’s a way to make a natural antibacterial spray from the things you can get hold of from Amazon so you don’t even have to step out of your door.
Here’s the DIY antibacterial spray ingredient list:
*1 cup boiled water which you’ve allowed to cool but not be cold
*1/4 cup Witch Hazel (without alcohol) or white wine vinegar. If you can’t get that you can use alcohol like vodka too
*Add 15 drops Tea Tree essential oil which has been documented to kill many bacteria, viruses, and fungi on contact
*10 drops of either Lavender, Eucalyptus or Lemongrass essential oil which also contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
*Spray bottle, you can use an old one, but glass is preferred, since some essential oils can start to degrade plastic if left for too long. That said, in this climate, we doubt that will happen!
One final tip.
Get lots of sleep at night. The duration that is recommended as being optimal is between six and eight hours.
This is when a person’s body will fix itself. As a modern day human, we’re busy with our lives and find it hard to relax. But, when we’re not doing a thing, our body is using less energy. This means we have more available resource to support our healing.
If you have underlying issues such as gut problems, heart issues and so on, this is even more important. Your age is also a factor in your ability to fight the germs that are floating around, so please, think about the elderly, and help them.
So if you sleep, even if you encounter someone who has been under a rock somewhere and is coughing and spreading nasty mucus into the world’s atmosphere, at least your body will be less susceptible to those tiny microbes.
There isn’t one single remedy out there to best help you avoid the effects of Coronavirus, and there certainly aren’t any medications.
This is about combining everything we know, to adapt our lifestyle to include as much of the recommended advice so we can avoid these new diseases. We know that working these into our life in order to strengthen our immune system is only possible with what is available to us as the store shelves are literally bare. So, in short, eat your citrus, ensure you aren’t exposed and have a massage.
*Fight the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals assault your body and can be produced internally as we convert food to energy. They cause our DNA strands to snap and produce kappa, which promotes inflammation and inhibits the ability of our immune system to respond. By regularly adding a variety of rainbow coloured foods into our diet, including spinach and other green veg, improves our chances of fighting these bad free radicals.
Remember, without the entire colour complement of fruits and vegetables, free radicals remain active and continue to accumulate in the body, causing oxidative damage.