Catching every cold or flu that goes around is no fun, but if you have a weak immune system, it’s way more likely to happen to you. If you’re looking to improve your immune system and increase your body’s resiliency, try one or more of these eight strategies to get and stay healthy, from sleeping more to eating well.
Stress has been found to be one of the leading causes for when one’s immune system is not functioning properly. When your body is stressed out, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced, thus making your body more susceptible to infections, infectious diseases and overall sicknesses. Luckily enough, you can prevent this by keeping a healthy state of mind. Take time out of your day to decompress and relax, especially if you are working from home. The anxieties and stresses of the current coronavirus pandemic have made working from home difficult, and people’s normal time for relaxation throughout the workday has been replaced with home-schooling children, conducting house chores and running errands. A great way to decompress at home is with a relaxing massage in a high-quality massage chair. By massaging and relaxing the muscles, your body’s stress levels will subside.
Yes, there is something that’s guaranteed to boost your immune system and, no, it’s not a supplement or a shake. Your body uses sleep to repair itself, making new proteins (aka the building blocks of the cell) while you snooze. Whether you’re fighting off an illness or injury or just trying not to get sick, sleep is your friend. You’re much better off skipping that expensive supplement and getting an extra hour of sleep instead. While everyone’s needs vary individually, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night to fully function and keep their immune systems in top shape. If you have trouble sleeping, there are several different things you can try, such as taking melatonin, muffling loud sounds with ear plugs or white noise and blocking out light with blackout blinds or curtains.
Exercise builds your body and makes you stronger and less susceptible to illness and injury over the long run. For optimal benefits, you should aim for a mixture of cardiovascular and strength building activities. Generally healthy adults should strive for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise spread out throughout the week, which equates to 30 minutes five days a week. There are many workouts that you can do at home or in your neighborhood with minimal equipment, such as running, walking, plyometrics and kickboxing. Experiment with some different types of workouts to see which ones you like best.
Eat a healthy diet.
Your gut and your immune system are very closely linked, and eating a healthy diet is an important component of maintaining a strong immune system. In general, you should eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Try to eat foods rich in fats and sugars only in moderation. Indulging occasionally is fine, but these foods shouldn’t make up the majority of your diet. Avoid any foods that you’re sensitive to, as they can result in inflammation and weaken your body (not to mention cause problems like stomach cramps and acid reflux).
Watch your stress levels.
Stress, especially chronic stress, wears down our bodies and makes us more susceptible to illness. If you’ve noticed yourself feeling tired or getting sick a lot for “no reason,” stress could be the culprit. Some of the other tips listed in this article, including regular exercise, are natural stress relievers. Many people also find yoga, meditation and mindfulness helpful in managing stress. You can also try deep breathing exercises, practicing aromatherapy (such as lighting a candle), spending time with your pet, listening to soothing music, and reducing your caffeine intake. Some Human Touch massage chairs also include a Sound Soothe feature, which allows you to get a full-body massage while relaxing to one of eight built-in nature tracks.
Practice good hygiene.
Good hygiene is incredibly important for protecting yourself from germs. You should wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. Don’t forget to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. If hand washing isn’t available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. There are many key times to wash your hands, including before and after eating or preparing food; before touching your eyes, nose or mouth; after using the bathroom; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; and after touching garbage. See the CDC’s website for full guidelines on how and when to wash your hands.
Don’t forget your mental health.
Lots of advice for boosting your immune system focuses on your physical health, but it’s important not to neglect your mental health as well. How you feel mentally is very closely linked to how you feel physically, and being stressed, depressed or anxious often manifests in headaches, upset stomachs, insomnia and other physical complaints. Exercising will help improve your mental health, as will getting outside in nature, connecting with friends and pursuing new hobbies. If you struggle with conditions such as depression and anxiety, finding a therapist can be a big help, and some people also find medications useful as well.
While many people want to take a vitamin and be done with it, cultivating a healthy immune system is more of a lifestyle—but it’s so worth it. Follow these seven steps to improve your immune system and better your health.
By: Wellness Council Member, David Marcarian, MA
There is nothing like a great massage from the hands of a great massage therapist. A few years ago, my New Year’s Resolution was to get hands-on massage on a regular basis. To ensure the success of my resolution required a commitment much like joining a gym. I immediately found a massage clinic with locations throughout the U.S. and signed up! The experience was actually quite nice. The offices are quite esthetically pleasing, and the massage therapists were very skilled. I liked that I could schedule online, as I am so busy and it would be so difficult to call ahead to schedule my massage.
There was only one problem. Human Nature. Just as with a gym membership, if there is difficulty getting to the gym, difficulty parking, difficulty finding time – well like electricity, humans find the quickest path to ground. When it comes to the gym membership, that means not leaving the ground my feet were on in front of the couch. The problem? Even with online scheduling, if I did not schedule my massage at least a few days in advance, I would never get in, or get the therapist I wanted.
So here we are three years later, with monthly fees for several years and only three real massages! It’s not their fault. They have a fantastic service and system. Convenience is the key: If the service is not directly in front of you, or requires that you drive and park at times which are difficult, we simply won’t follow through. Just like with the gym membership, I purchased an elliptical instead. I wake up in the morning and with it sitting right there in front of me, I have no excuses at all. For 8 years now I’ve used it, and my blood pressure has dropped to 123 / 73 and has stayed the same due to the convenience of the elliptical.
How many massages have I had with my Human Touch® Zero Gravity Massage Chair? I cannot even count. Sometimes it has been twice a day. I’ve woken up at 2:00 AM not able to sleep. I schedule my massage by sitting down and pressing the button: The only scheduling issue is if there is anyone else in the house. And one shift in Human Touch Engineering which has had quite an influence on access to the chair? Unfortunately for me, Human Touch engineers have finely tuned their latest massage chairs to magically adjust to the user. The newer designs are much gentler than the old “rough” rollers, meaning women now love the Human Touch approach to massage technology as much as men.
The other real advantage of having the Human Touch chair at home is that you have no way of knowing what random stressors in life, both physical and emotional, will hit at any given moment. It is really nice to know that you have a massage chair at home you can rely upon at 3:00 AM when you wake up with an aching back: A role very few legitimate massage therapists are able to fill.
For the right person who is organized enough to plan ahead, the massage franchises offer a wonderful service. For the rest of us? It may actually be less expensive when you take into considering parking, gas, work time lost etc. to own the most expensive Human Touch massage chair made! Another really good point is that massage is supposed to reduce stress, not increase it. If it takes too much effort to schedule a massage, the massage is a bit ruined for me. In addition, I really don’t like getting massage oil all over my new car’s seats!
If you have time to schedule a real-life massage, more power to you. For the rest of us insanely busy people in a world filled with traffic, stress and beeping reminders always going off, I will just stay home, curl up with a book, Netflix, and my Human Touch Massage chair whenever I choose: Just one less thing in life requiring a schedule.
The current nature of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) doesn’t give way to much familiarity. Most try to liken it to cryotherapy or sensory deprivation float tanks. Though they bare similarities, HBOT is completely different. HBOT is a non-invasive medical treatment of delivering a large amount of oxygen under pressure. That influx of oxygen supports rapid healing in the body during the session and in days after. But it’s not common place and our treatment chambers can look a bit intimidating, so we have made every effort to practice HBOT in an environment that is peaceful and relaxing. Our Human Touch® Perfect Chairs® really make the experience. Immediately, our patients are transported out of the grind of their lives and on a mini va-ca, into a spa where every need was thought of and met before the patient had to ask. The Perfect Chair is their first introduction to our place. We recline them, take vital signs, and walk them through the treatment. Our regulars stake claim to their favorite chair, colonizing them with their personal items, customizing the settings and regaling the newbies about their first time. This chatter helps; new patients tend to sink into their chair more at ease and all you see after a while are two pairs of feet in the air from a deep recline, like two white flags surrendering to the process, ready for treatment.
Once settled inside, the pure oxygen lulls most everyone to sleep. For good reason, your body wants to utilize the surge of oxygen. When the body is put under pressure, oxygen is able to be dissolved in to your blood at a much higher rate (Henry's Law). Oxygen is needed to make ATP which is cellular energy or cellular cash and just like every good capitalist society, cash is king, and your body goes right to work spending it. While the patient sleeps, cellular contractors are putting in bids and molecular architects are submitting plans. Every project is approved in this oxygen rich environment and the work begins without delay! Teams begin repairing soft tissue, building new blood vessels, stimulating the growth of stem cells, reducing inflammation/swelling, enhancing immune functioning, improving neurocognitive functions, fortifying bone tissue and more. All the patient has to do is breathe.
After 90 minutes, the patient is brought out of the chamber and welcomed back into our tranquil place. With all the changes their body undergoes, they experience disorientation and the feeling of being high. We guide them to take refuge back in a Perfect Chair. There is no better way to transition them back to real life. We preheat the chair with the jade infrared heat and have a tray with warm moist towels ready for them. The infrared heat improves lymphatic flow and increases circulation of blood deep in the tissues, helping to clear out any leftover waste from all the projects. Once they are nestled in, we recline them and let them re-acclimate slowly. This pause is paramount. The body needs to rest and readjust back to the oxygen poor environment. Once the patient feels like they are back down to earth, they are given vitamins and sent on their way. Routinely, patients will call us just to tell us about how great they feel even days later.
Our goal is to transport people away from the hustle of real life to a tranquil escape. We are reintroducing what healthcare is supposed to look like. It is our belief when people are placed in an environment rooted in patient first care, they actually heal. And that reintroduction starts and ends with the Perfect Chair. From the moment they sit down, they know we have invested in their comfort. The Perfect chair is not just a design choice, it is the treatment. The perfect bookends to a restorative hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment.
Ryan Bader, MMA Bellator Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion, shares his experience with the Novo XT2 Massage Chair from Human Touch. Learn how he uses his Novo XT2 as part of his training and recovery routine, and why he says it will help "take his career to the next level."
© Craig Berry/flickr.com
PonyApp Pro-Tips brought to you by Human Touch® Super Novo.
We’ve come a long way from the days when riding was considered an exclusive, country pursuit, usually accompanied by corseted ladies in sidesaddle, plenty of tweed, and a healthy dose of sherry and whiskey. More and more today, equestrian competition is being recognized as the sport that it is by the general public, but we, as riders, often fail to recognize the other half of that equation. Riders are athletes, and we need to think about our sport, and how we train for it, like any other athlete would.
“Riders are athletes, and we need to think about our sport, and how we train for it, like any other athlete would.”
At the top of that list: taking a more holistic approach to the way we care for ourselves in and out of the ring, from our diet and exercise program, to the way we incorporate wellness techniques for the mind and body—be that through mediation and yoga, acupuncture and massage, or something else entirely.
So just why is thinking big-picture about health and wellness critical to a rider’s overall performance? For that, we caught up with Dr. Drew DeMann, a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in Primary Care Sports Medicine at Manhattan Medicine in New York. Here, Dr. DeMann shares four reasons why taking a holistic approach to your training can help you hack your health, in and out of the saddle.
1. It can help you prevent injuries.
“If you don’t look at things holistically, and you just look at [pain] like ‘it’s a knee’, or ‘it’s a shoulder’, or ‘it’s a back’, often you miss the big-picture on how people get hurt,” explains Dr. DeMann. “You could be presenting [in my office] with knee pain because your hips are too tight, or because your back is too tight.” The goal: treating these associated areas with something like massage or physical therapy before there’s a sports performance issue.
2. It can help you eat the absolute right way.
You know what they say: you are what you eat. Ask any top rider and they’re likely to tell you that looking at your diet holistically, as an extension of your training program, can have a positive impact on your performance. From Dr. DeMann’s perspective, it’s just good common sense. “From a nutrition standpoint, it’s super important, because if you don’t [eat in a healthy way], you’re going to wind up with nutritional deficiencies over time.”
3. It can help you get your head right.
“Sports doctors can tell, when patients come in the office, who’s more likely to get better and who’s not, almost [based entirely] on their attitude,” says Dr. DeMann, who notes that taking steps to ensure your mental wellness is as fine-tuned as your physical health is essential. “If you tell your brain that you’re healthy, your brain will produce chemicals that will make you healthy. If you tell your brain that you’re sick, or that you’re not functioning properly, your brain will fulfill that outcome.”
4. It can help you train better.
Let’s face it, it’s a lot harder to maximize that hour in the gym or be the best you can be for the horse you’re riding in the moment when you wake up every day feeling stiff and uncomfortable from the training you’ve done the day before. For that, Dr. DeMann says, incorporating a massage program can be especially beneficial. “When you exercise anaerobically—as in, you’re training—you produce something called lactic acid. Lactic acid can get cleared out of the muscles, and [that’s when] you get post-exercise soreness,” he explains. “Massage increases blood flow to the muscle, and releases a lot of that lactic acid back into your lymphatic system, and that helps you to function a little more normally.”
Function more normally and ride a whole lot better. Who can argue with that?
The new Human Touch® Super Novo is a specially designed chair that delivers three dimensional massage along the entire length of your spine and all the way down to the thighs. What’s more, the Super Novo offers Mediation and Yoga Studio programs to help you achieve a relaxed state of being pre- or post-ride— it’s even (Amazon) Alexa compatible! For more information, visit: humantouch.com/supernovo.
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Take a look at this guest post from our friends at Massagers-And-More
Are you interested in buying a massage chair, but confused silly with all the different options out there? Not to worry, I was in your shoes about a year ago. With not enough resources and information, I’d find myself tirelessly scavenging the net comparing one chair to another. Safe to say that all paid off!
Since then my fascination for massage chairs has grown tremendously. I’ve written detailed reviews on 30 odd chairs, and continue to do so as new chairs get released.
The below 6 considerations are what I personally used/followed when I purchased my massage chair. Even though some items on this list may seem subjective, it’s worth paying attention to. Without further ado!
#1 Price $$$$$!
Massage chairs aren’t exactly cheap, and even the cheapest of chairs will run you a solid $400-500 easy. The higher end chairs can go up to the $10K mark!
Which is why it’s so important to get a handle on budget!
You must ask yourself the following questions specifically:
1. How much am I willing to spend in total? Total means everything i.e. shipping, install fees, taxes etc.
2. How do I wish to pay? Typically, you can either finance the chair (most places offer 0% interest) over a period of several months, or you can pay the entire amount in one shot.
It’s important you have a clear understanding of this before even looking at anything else. If you’re having difficulty coming up with a budget, just remember there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s about what you’re most comfortable spending.
If you’re okay spending $3K, fine. If you’re okay spending $6K, awesome. If you’re okay spending $500, swell!
If you have your budget nailed down, that’s it. Many people tend to budge from their set budget. Don’t be one of those people! Set yourself a budget!
#2 Roller System: 2D, 3D, or 4D?
Once you’ve determined your budget, next step is to decide on a roller system. As of present day (2019 April), there are 3 types of roller technologies to choose from:
2D rollers are the oldest technology you can find on a massage chair. They move in 2 dimensions i.e. up and down along the length of the back, and side to side across the width of the back.
Basically, a step up from 2D rollers. In addition to the horizontal and vertical movements, 3D rollers can also protrude in/out. This additional dimension makes 3D rollers capable of performing deep tissue massage.
The most technologically advanced roller system you can find on a massage chair. 4D rollers are the exact same as 3D, but with one major difference: roller speed control is automatic in a 4D system. In a 3D system, roller speed is something you must manually adjust.
So does that mean you should only buy a chair with 4D rollers?
Absolutely not! 4D is the best money can buy, no question, but 3D and 2D chairs are not far behind. What’s more is the incredible industry experience around 2D rollers. Because 2D technology has been around for decades, massage chair manufacturers truly understand how to get the most out of this technology.
What’s the catch?
It’s simple. It all boils down to intensity. If you’re specifically looking for a chair capable of massaging at high intensities, consider a 3D or 4D chair. If intensity isn’t a concern for you, pick a 2D chair!
#3 Roller Track
In #2 we discussed the different roller technologies, that’s only one half of the equation. The other half has to do with roller track. What is roller track anyways?
Roller track talks about the distance a set of rollers will follow.
For example, there are some massage chairs with rollers that can only travel from neck to tailbone (30-32’’), and then there are other chairs whose rollers can travel all the way to the hamstrings (47-52’’).
The longer the track, the better the massage!
If you’re able to afford it, I recommend you always go for a chair with an extended roller track. The extra roller coverage makes a world of difference when it comes to massaging the glutes and hamstrings.
#4 User Flexibility
This is something that often gets overlooked. If people paid more attention to this one thing, they’d end up saving so much time and money!
User flexibility is about how well a massage chair can accommodate users with varying heights and weights.
If you’re buying online, this becomes especially important to consider. If you’re buying offline, it’s still important, but not as much because you would have sat and tried the chair out.
No 2 chairs are the same!
And as such user flexibility can tend to vary from one chair to another. For example, chair X may be designed to fit in small, tight spaces, so as a result, it can only accommodate a height range of 5’0-6’0 ft. Chair Y on the other hand is designed to fit taller folks and has a height range of 5’2-6’4 ft. The same thing applies for weight.
Remember to check the height and weight limits before you buy!
The Novo XT2 is an example of a massage chair that has incredible user flexibility!
#5 Number Of Auto Modes!
Auto modes are preset or preprogrammed massage routines. They’re incredibly important for a few reasons:
1. Auto modes take away the guesswork from the user. In other words, the user doesn’t have to mess around with manual settings trying to figure out the optimum parameters for massage.
2. They keep things fresh. This is especially true for chairs that have 10+ auto modes! Because you have so many choices, massage is never repetitive and boring.
Most massage chairs generally tend to have on average 5 auto modes. Some of the better ones have 7-10, and some of the high-end ones have 30+!
#6 Massage Technology Other Than Rollers
The main roller system is arguably the most critical component to a massage chair, but it doesn't end there. There are several other components that also play a role in determining how good/bad a chair is. These are the airbags, calf rollers, and foot rollers.
Why are each of these components important?
Airbags and calf/foot rollers are important for 2 reasons:
1. They provide a massage technique different from the main roller system. For example, airbags inflate with air to provide a compression style massage.
2. They provide a massage to areas of the body where the main roller system can't reach. For example, the feet is one area where the main back rollers cannot reach.
That being said, one should always consider:
1. The number of airbags in a chair before buying. Look for a good spread across the chair!
2. The presence of calf and foot rollers. Foot rollers are a must have as far as I'm concerned. Calf rollers on the other hand is a feature you won't find in most massage chairs.
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Lets start out with the chair: it is very solidly built and easy to use. It takes up about the same space as my old recliner. The automatic adjustment (with manual controls too) for shoulder height makes the chair fit my 5' tall wife and my 6'3" height too. In the automatic modes the chair self-adjusts for height (in manual mode you set height yourself). We both use the chair for 20 minutes in the morning and evening.
Why did we get the chair? My wife has sciatica. I have had chronic pain for over 20 years. Initially just hand pain, but in the last 7 years in all joints (osteoarthritis, most noticeable in my ankles, knees, hips, hands, and back). In the past year or so I have also developed some numbness in my feet. My doctors had me take Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs for years, which helped but, I ended up with a bleeding ulcer 4 years ago. Since then I've been taking prescription pain relievers to keep pain levels low enough to allow me to work, and to be able to sleep. I kept up exercise, but over time that too suffered.
Last month my wife and I basically just stumbled on a demo of the [Novo] XT2 at Costco . After a short demo my back pain was reduced, and her sciatica noticeably better. So we ordered it. We figured if all it did was help her sciatica that would be well worth it. The chair arrived (white glove service is great) and we set about understanding how to use it for our best results.
It took about 10 days to figure out what worked best for us, and then things just started getting better. My wife's sciatica pain is largely gone. The pain in my ankles, hips, and back are much better, also almost gone. I am now pain medication free for the first time in years. In fact yesterday I was able to mow my yards for the first time in years without suffering hours of pain.
I think the proper ending for my review is to say ... thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU Human Touch.
- Charles W.
We were pleased to recently receive this customer feedback about one of our Costco Roadshow representatives, and wanted to share his story with you here. Our Costco reps are truly an amazing group of individuals, and an asset to our team here at Human Touch! To learn more about our Costco events, please click here.
To Whom It May Concern,
I have been off work for both my mental and physical health since Jan 23, 2019. I have lived with Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety for twenty years. A recent traumatic experience at work exacerbated both conditions and caused me to seek treatment in a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) starting in late February. Concurrently, I have been focused on caring for my physical health by participating in three physical therapy sessions and two separate sessions with a personal trainer each week. My work related injuries are associated with my right glute, lower and middle back, shoulders, neck and left bicep.
I began physical therapy in February and the initial assessment caused the pain to spread. I had several episodes of bursting into tears during therapy and even forbid the physical therapist from touching me on one day for fear he would cause more pain. My workers comp rep assigned a nurse to work with me to find a new place for treatment.
I was not in a good place mentally or physically when I walked into Costco last Friday. On my walk to the register, I saw the display with your chairs. The salesperson greeted me warmly and set me up in a chair. I didn’t tell her about any of my problems because I was scared she wouldn’t let me try the chair. After the five minute program, she allowed me to try another sequence. I thanked her, grabbed my other purchases and headed for the register. She called after me to let me know that the display would be here all week and I could come back any time.
I went back to Costco six of the next eight days. Angela was there every day and she always seemed excited to see me. I opened up to her about my mental health issues first. She shared that several people in her life had dealt with mental health struggles. That disclosure made me feel like less of a freak and allowed me to trust her. She programmed a thirty minute session for me that day and every day after.
Since the chairs were located next to an area that was under construction, not many people stopped by. This led to Angela being able to provide a listening ear during most of my time spent in your chairs. I shared about my struggles in the PHP and PT programs.
I spent time in all your chairs. My favorite was the one Angela refers to as "The Lexus." I found my experience to be restorative on so many levels. The zero gravity eased my back pain. The foot/calf massage left me feeling fully relaxed. Angela ensured my glutes, shoulders and biceps received treatment daily as well.
I was so touched by Angela’s willingness to help me any way she could. When I told her I performed direct care for the disabled and was making even less now because I was receiving workers comp, she continued to treat me like her best customer.
The sessions in the chair helped my body heal enough to approach physical therapy with a new physical therapist. Christine was very gentle with me and we developed a bond as well. I saw her three times a week for six weeks. At the same time, the YMCA provided a personal trainer, Tanner, for me two times a week. She made me work so hard.
Last week I received medical clearance to return to work on Monday, April 22, 2019. I’m so excited and I hope you can find out how to get in touch with Angela and let her know. I had to return to work by the end of April or I would have been let go from the organization. I just want to thank her because I know she would be proud of how hard I worked to get back to the job I love.
I needed the support of "The Lexus" and your employee to return to work. Thank you providing me with both.
Well race season is wrapping up and it’s time to review the inner workings of each race and the mechanics of the racecar. But just as important are reviewing films and contracts, team recovery and racecar rebuilding. Not only is the racecar rebuilt but the entire crew needs to take time to rest, refresh and reenergize. It’s during off season that I spend my mornings in the shop, and then head to the office.
In my office I have the iJOY® Massage Chair 2.1 by Human Touch®, and that is where I spend most of my time. This chair is stylish, comfortable and perfect for any space of any size. It is not unusual to see car parts around my office, limiting the amount of room space, plus we also use my office for crew meetings. There is not much room and for that reason the iJOY chair is the perfect size. The iJOY is a smaller portable size massage chair, so it is ideal for my office. The funniest thing about my massage chair is it is NEVER EMPTY! It is not unusual to see my crew fighting over who gets to sit in it.
After getting some heavy work done in the shop, it is nice to have a chair where I can enjoy the benefits of massage. This chair uses long strokes, kneading, compression, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize me while I review race films, post to social media and answer emails. The positive effects of the iJOY massage chair are that it reduces my stress level, back pain and muscle tension.
Outside of the massage effects, the iJOY chair is a comfortable chair. It provides a great place to just sit and relax. I can be found watching TV in it after my workday has ended. The chair has convenient side zippered pockets where I keep the chair remote, tissues and my TV remote. It truly is the perfect chair to unwind.