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.
When it comes to preventative self-care, massage chairs can be a valuable health and wellness tool. Massage has proven benefits for overall health and well-being, from better sleep to improved immune function, reduced stress and pain relief.
With a massage chair in your own home, you can enjoy all of the following benefits from the comfort of your own living room:
Regular massages may help boost your immune system. Research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that people who received a 45-minute massage had increased levels of lymphocytes, which are the white blood cells that defend the body against disease.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage may help fight seasonal colds and the flu. When the body is in a deep state of relaxation, the number of natural killer (NK) cells increases. NK cells are white blood cells that rapidly respond to viral-infected cells.
Massage can also help the body get over a cold in other ways. The increased blood flow and fluid movement nourish the body while helping remove waste or germs.
Adding massage therapy to your preventative care routine can help strengthen your immune system, reducing the risk of illness. Having a massage chair in your home makes it easy and convenient to enjoy the benefits of massage, regularly.
Massage is an effective tool for alleviating stress, a silent killer. Studies have shown that a 10-15-minute massage can lower blood pressure, oxygen consumption and salivary cortisol levels.
Stress affects all areas of the body:
Musculoskeletal: Chronic stress can leave the muscles in a constant state of tension, which can trigger tension headaches and even lower back pain.
Respiratory: Rapid, shallow breathing and shortness of breath are both common responses to stress. For people with respiratory disease, stress can make breathing problems even worse.
Cardiovascular: When we’re under stress, our hearts beat faster and stronger. The body also releases the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline. With chronic stress, these effects are ongoing and may increase the risk of heart attack, hypertension or stroke.
Gastrointestinal: Stress can affect the entire digestive system, causing acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, bloating and even decreased nutrient absorption.
Endocrine: Chronic, high levels of cortisol can impair communication with the immune system, which can lead to the development of metabolic disorders, chronic fatigue, depression and other mental health conditions.
Studies have found that stress-relieving therapies, like massage, can improve or prevent these effects.
With a massage chair, you can enjoy daily stress-relieving massages right from the comfort of your home.
Neck and Back Pain Relief
Back pain is the leading cause of missed workdays and work limitations, and neck pain isn’t too far behind. Back and neck pain can cause a host of problems, even on a fundamental level, as it can cause difficulty bending over, lifting objects, and even just sitting in an upright position at a desk where compression on the spine can make normal seating unbearable.
Massage has been shown to be an effective pain reliever, and massage chairs are especially effective for alleviating neck and back pain, because the massager rollers are strategically placed to target these areas.
The Human Touch® Super Novo massage chair offers unique L-track and S-track massage systems that cover 60% more of the back than competing massage chairs. This unibody track delivers a soothing massage that extends from your neck and shoulders down to your thighs, while the dual-lumbar heat feature helps to loosen tight back muscles and further alleviate pain.
Sleep is crucial to your overall health and well-being, but an estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders that affect their health.
Poor sleep can affect:
Brain function, including your ability to make decisions, solve problems, cope with change, and control your emotions.
Physical health. Sleep deficiency can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health conditions.
Productivity. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to stay focused and productive at work.
We know that massage helps alleviate stress, and that alone can help you enjoy a better night of sleep. However, a study on back pain found that in addition to pain relief, regular massages can increase serotonin levels.
Serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, the hormone that prepares your body for sleep and regulates your sleep cycle. At night, the body produces more melatonin, alerting the body that it’s time to go to bed. During the day, melatonin production decreases to let the body know it’s time to wake up.
Many people who suffer from sleep disorders have low melatonin levels. Massage may help increase serotonin levels, which ultimately increases melatonin levels. With a massage chair in your home, you can relax your way to a good night’s sleep.
Having a massage chair at home can be an excellent preventative self-care tool. With the touch of a button, you can melt away stress, alleviate pain and enjoy a better night of sleep.
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."
By: Dr. James Rouse, Naturopathic Physician and Human Touch Wellness Council Member
You most likely have heard this ad slogan encouraging us to keep what happens in “Sin City” to ourselves, but I am of the belief that we need to shout what happens out loud, in relationship to our Vagus Nerve and its truly awesome benefits.
The Vagus Nerve is often called the wandering nerve, as it winds from the base of our brainstem to the abdomen by way of multiple organs, including the lungs and heart. The Vagus Nerve runs the show in your inner nerve center - specifically the parasympathetic nervous system which I love to refer to the house of Peace, Power and Positivity. Ahhhh, just that? let wash over you!
Do you long for Peace, Power and Positivity? You are not alone. This is most likely due to the fact that most everyone is suffering from being stuck on the sympathetic side of our nervous system where we feel wired and tired, a hair trigger away from the stress response of “flight or fight,” and all too ready to overly react to the small stuff. All this “stuff” left unchecked can lead to a whole host of challenges from depression, anxiety, sleep issues, immune dysfunction, heart challenges and possibly even shorter life expectancy…YIKES!
So what can we do? GO TO VAGUS!
When you actively engage with your Vagus Nerve you are on the road to recovery, and here’s how you can do it:
1) Create and sustain positive, loving, safe relationships
3) Finish your shower with ice cold water
6) Breathe from your belly
8) Get a massage
We got this…right? I work on incorporating each of these daily, including massage. Any of the Human Touch massage chairs to the Massage Anywhere will do the trick. For me, I always finish my working day by engaging with my Novo XT. I use the “manual” program and click on “breathe”. It serves my mind, body and soul as I release my human doing and claim my human being…staying in Vagus as long as I can.
Image by: Nick Duell
Are you ever feeling like you are too tired to keep running…but you are also too scared to stop?
You are not alone, and research suggests that literally anyone who has a job is experiencing a rise in stress-related challenges and the not-too-subtle decline in performance, personal peace and overall quality of life. In my own life as a dad, husband, doctor, entrepreneur and over-committed sprinter in the daily decathlon of life, I needed to find a solution to proactively reclaiming my energy and my life.
So as I always do, I looked to science to find a proactive strategy that we can implement to shift from stressed to blessed!
One answer lies in the new wave of human potential, personal performance and enlightened energy management - the rise of ULTRADIAN RHYTHMS. You are most likely very familiar with circadian rhythms, which is basically the 24-hour clock that our bodies run to align our sleep-wake cycles. Ultradian Rhythms are more of an interval-based way of approaching each day, to optimize every aspect of performance by honoring the natural way our mind and bodies function in 90 minute cycles of work and 20 minutes of rest/recovery.
What we are learning is that we do not perform optimally well after 90 minutes of work. In fact, we experience a sharp decline as we try and push thru and keep going. But, if we are courageous enough to STOP…fully “dismount” from our Human Doing and allow our Human Being to step in - we will be met with an awesome upgrade in productivity, happiness, creativity, strength, focus and just about every “upgrade” we could ask for ourselves.
What should you do for 20 minutes? Here’s what you should not do: do not surf the internet, do not get on your phone, or check social media feeds....I know…hard
Here’s what you can do: nap, get outside, have a great snack, do a series of planks, or get a massage. Yup, that is what I do 2 x per day. I grab my iJOY Massage Anywhere by Human Touch, and give myself an instant mind-body-self love and care intervention. Massage gives me a beautifully unfair advantage when I come back to work, it increases key neurotransmitters associated with creativity and focus along with a re-set with stress hormones and allows me to feel more peace and balance…the ability to reclaim the rhythm of the good life!
Learn more about how to use massage to align your body with the new time changes in Dr. Rouse's newest video post:
iJOY® Massage Anywhere™ is the perfect solution for those searching for a portable massage chair.
© 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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Human Touch to Showcase its Latest Massage Chair Innovations at The Hampton Classic
LONG BEACH, CA August 25, 2019 – Human Touch, the U.S. market leader in high performance massage chairs, Perfect Chair® recliners, and other wellness solutions, proudly announces its affiliation and sponsorship of the 44th Annual Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton, New York, August 25 through September 1, 2019. Honored for the opportunity to introduce their wellness solutions into the equestrian lifestyle, Human Touch will be showcasing its new Super Novo massage chair, as well as its Novo XT2, which provide advanced recovery, relaxation, and relief to equestrians, other athletes, and individuals desiring superior pain relief and stress management.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to support such a long-standing tradition,” says David Wood, CEO of Human Touch. “Our massage chair innovations and wellness solutions were specifically designed with the needs and desires of athletes, including equestrians, in mind. We hope attendees will take the time to visit our booth in the Boutique Garden and website to learn more about our exciting massage and wellness innovations.”
Newly added to the Human Touch Wellness Council this year is Elisa Wallace, an award-winning equestrian representing the U.S.A. in international competition. She is a 5-star three-day event rider and popular YouTuber. Elisa is also a well-known advocate for American Mustang adoption, off the track thoroughbreds, rider safety, and women in sports. Human Touch formed the Wellness Council with the intention of sourcing valuable insights from leading doctors, professional athletes, wellness practitioners, and natural healers to further advance the design, function, and needs of the Human Touch product line. With the addition of Elisa to the council, her remarkable expertise and athletic diversity complements the development and scope of treatment Human Touch wellness solutions offer.
This year, Human Touch unveiled its most advanced massage chair yet: the Super Novo. Providing real therapeutic relief and recovery, the Super Novo introduces the world’s first massage chair to implement user-customized Virtual Therapist™ through Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition and Human Touch’s multidimensional massage technology into one fully immersive, zero gravity massage experience. The chair features full body stretch capabilities, Cloud Touch Acupressure, and 38 Auto-Wellness programs, such as full body immersion, deep tissue, and a diverse collection of therapeutic relaxation, meditation, and recovery programs, in addition to three 4D massage programs that soothe, stretch, and rejuvenate the entire body.
For more information, please visit www.humantouch.com.
About Human Touch®
Entering its 40th year, Human Touch® proudly serves as the country’s leading provider and innovator of high-performance massage chairs, zero gravity recliners and other wellness solutions. Committed to creating the most immersive and personalized independent wellness experiences, Human Touch introduces patented massage systems that replicate the touch and techniques used by leading massage professionals. Each product is strategically engineered and designed to address the pains and stresses caused by today's hectic lifestyle using the latest technologies and intelligent ergonomics. Products are available at fine furniture stores, back care specialty stores, and mass-market retailers across the U.S., through international retailers and distributors in more than 40 countries.
Direct Ph: 562-733-7358
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