Boosting your immune system has never been more important. Eating nutritious foods and dietary supplementation are a great start, but did you know that physical therapy can also play a role in improving immunity while promoting overall health and wellness? Some of the causations are direct, others indirect, but the end result is all the same and that’s what matters most. Let’s review.
3 Ways Sustained Physical Therapy Can Help Promote a Stronger Immune System
1. Regular Exercise Enhances Immunity
It’s a fact that regular exercise enhances your cardiovascular health and ultimately your immune system. The only caveat is that you must not overtrain or do anything that could sideline you (i.e. an injury) in the process. To make sure none of that happens, you should work with a physical therapist. We do more than repair acute and chronic injuries, we prescribe a regime of movements and exercises that will protect and enhance your overall physical functions. But there are other less direct ways physio-prescribed exercise benefits the immune system. For instance, it may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways which ultimately reduces the likelihood of getting hit with a virus. In addition, the short rises in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing in the first place.
By making physical therapy a habitual part of your life you will very likely experience an improvement (all else equal) in your immunity.
2. Physiotherapy Helps You Get a Good Night Sleep
There is no physician in the country that will dispute the connection between sleep and immunity, and the Sleep Foundation concurs. Without adequate sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines. Cytokines are a type of protein that target both infection and inflammation, both of which effectively creating an immune response. To score more cytokines you need to score more hours of shut-eye. But if you are like a large number of Canadians you experience some sort of pain and/or discomfort that prevents you from getting uninterrupted sleep. These physical ailments can directly be corrected by working with a physical therapist. The solution may come from a simple analysis of your sleeping position/s, or may lay with an underlying injury that we can repair. View more on how physical therapy is being employed to improve sleep and therefore immunity.
3. Physical Therapy Can Reduce Immune System Suppressing Stress
Stress isn’t some emotional wellness concept that is subject to debate. There’s hard science behind the way it impacts our physiology, with minor to severe consequences on our immune systems.
The stress hormone corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex of vertebrates. The secretion of these hormones increases during stress related to anxiety and as a result it suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system. That’s why so many people fall ill during times of significant anxiety. Now consider the amount of worry being dumped on our population by the media machine of late. Even the most zen among us is finding it hard to maintain our cool. For this reason it’s important to take steps to mitigate feelings of anxiety, and once again we see how physiotherapy (namely massage therapy) can help. View our recent article on how physiotherapy is being leveraged as a supplementary form of therapy for anxiety and stress, which is at an all-time high for most of us here in 2020.
Do your immune system a big favor by making physical therapy a regular part of your life. If you live in the Greater Vancouver BC area schedule a consolation at our Burnaby clinic today.