As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world and into the U.S., it’s more important now than ever to make sure your immune system is properly functioning. In addition to washing your hands religiously and not touching your face, there’s one particularly beneficial thing you can do to boost your immune system — and we offer it here at Float8.
The relationship between floatation therapy and improved immune function has been studied for decades. In a 1983 study, neuroendocrinologist John Turner and psychologist Thomas Fine showed that floatation-REST lowers epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, two hormones that alter the immune system’s operations. As journalist Michael Hutchison wrote in his seminal 1984 work, The Book of Floating, “High levels of cortisol have been linked to a number of ailments. They depress the body’s immune system [and] increase the effects of adrenaline on body tissues.”
Today, we’re going to take a look at how regular float therapy can help boost your immune system.
The connection between stress and the immune system
As anyone who’s floated before knows, one of the primary effects of float therapy is a decrease in stress and anxiety. This sense of relaxation, in turn, helps to bolster one’s immune system.
In a detailed presentation at the 2018 Float Conference, Ph.D. candidate and researcher M.C. Flux broke down the biochemical reactions that occur when we enter the fight-or-flight stage and how that triggers an immune response. Using that information, he went on to describe the interconnected relationship between the immune system, stress, and relaxation, before summarizing his initial research into the effect of regular floatation-REST on this system.
In short, the body’s stress-response system is designed to self-regulate. But when stressors are constantly present, the fight-or-flight reaction stays on. The resulting overexposure to stress hormones can lead to a decrease in immune function and, therefore, an increased risk of myriad health issues, both mental and physiological.
How float therapy breaks the cycle
Unfortunately, not everyone can change their life situation to reduce their exposure to stress. What everyone can do, however, is change their approach to managing stress.
It’s been well established that making floatation therapy a regular part of your wellness routine can help to ease stress and anxiety. Additionally, M.C. Flux has found in his research that the more anxious you are, the more your immune system can benefit from floating.
It’s hard to understate how important these findings are. “These results have never been seen anywhere before,” Flux said. “They’re amazing.”
Tips for boosting your immune system
With all of this in mind, here are some healthy strategies to add to your routine in order to strengthen your immune system:
- Float regularly to decrease stress
- Wash your hands
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables – citrus, dark leafy greens, berries, garlic
- Exercise regularly
- Take vitamin supplements – Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Elderberry
- Get plenty of sleep – 7+ hours per night
- Limit your alcohol consumption
At Float8, we’re here to help you stay healthy and fight off sickness. Click below to set up your next float session today!