How Physiotherapy Can Boost Your Immune System
The body’s immune system is one of the most powerful defenses we have against illness and disease, especially during the cooler months of the year when we’re more likely to be indoors where cold and flu germs thrive. But daily factors such as stress, inadequate sleep or poor nutrition have a drastic effect on how well the immune system can perform, too. In fact, research conducted by the University of California San Francisco found that people who sleep six hours or less a night are four times more likely to catch a cold.
So, what can you do to boost your immune system? Harvard Medical School advises following a healthy lifestyle: not smoking, eating your fruits and vegetables, washing your hands frequently, and getting enough sleep among other tips like maintaining a healthy weight. The team at Harvard Medical School found that immune supporting products on drug store shelves aren’t entirely useful since our bodies continuously generate immune cells. These products “won’t bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease.”
While immune boosting products may not be the answer, moderate exercise could be. Regular, moderate exercise has been found to play a vital role in helping your immune system operate at its peak. Exercise increases circulation which allows immune system cells to move better throughout your body and be more effective. Exercise can even shift how the body responds to an illness and lessen how long it takes to recover, the New York Times reports.
In this way, physiotherapy as an exercise-based treatment can help boost the immune system. Here’s how:
Physiotherapy for Your Immune System
There is overwhelming evidence that increasing levels of physical activity also increases serotonin and dopamine as well as helps to decrease cortisol levels, all of which have an effect on the body’s immune system response. There’s a reason why you’re more likely get sick when you’re highly stressed, for instance.
The feel-good hormones our bodies naturally produce in response to exercise also act as analgesics which help ease pain symptoms and work as a sedative too. Simply put, while it can sometimes feel like a chore to exercise – or to do physiotherapy exercises, specifically – it will help you feel better.
Through our work, we’ve seen firsthand how physiotherapy extends well beyond assisting with injuries or post-surgery treatments. A common misconception is that physiotherapy only treats these specific areas, when in fact the benefits are numerous. Using a variety of exercise techniques, physiotherapy both works to strengthen the muscles, bones and joints, and promote cardiovascular health which aids in flushing bacteria and harmful pollutants out of the lungs and body overall. Physiotherapy exercises also help reduce inflammation that’s common with infections and improves fatigue.
While physiotherapy isn’t a sole guarantee in preventing illness, through regular exercises your immune system will be able to react more effectively and potentially help you get better faster.
A trained physiotherapist will work with you to develop the right exercise plan to boost your overall health, including your immunity. Contact the team at Meadowlands Physiotherapy today to get started.