Do you like to play bridge? How about casino games? Are meditation and positive thinking part of your daily routine? If you’ve answered affirmatively to at least a few of these questions, your immune system is more likely to protect you against illness, colds and the like. This is what a study by the University of California-Berkeley revealed a few years ago – and it encouraged researchers to further study the matter. It would appear that playing contract bridge could boost our immunity by multiplying the cells in the immune system. Generally speaking, any voluntary action such as positive thinking and meditation could strengthen our immunity. Here is how:
The Human Cortex Stimulates The Immune System
The previously mentioned study revealed that our cortex is constantly subject to our control and it can, therefore, be used to stimulate the functioning of the immune system. The activity inside the brain influences the way the immune system works, which means we can learn how to voluntarily manage our white blood cells and fight health conditions. The study had data accumulated over the course of 15 years as a result of research done on rodent brains. Scientists managed to successfully find the area inside the cortex that can stimulate the immune response of the body.
As for revealing the importance of these results on humans, researchers observed a women’s bridge club in Orinda, CA. The game of bridge was specially chosen from other games as it was considered an excellent stimulus for the dorsolateral cortex responsible for the immune system’s activity.
A bridge player will always plan his next moves and rely on his memory. This translates to a lot of sequencing and similar functions involving this particular area in the brain. Similarly, a poker or a blackjack player will take his time and plan ahead the next moves within a game to increase his chances of winning. If you are a big fan of these games and you oftentimes play them on your phone, while on the move, or at home using your desktop computer, chances are your immune system also benefits from it. Squeezing in some relaxing online roulette games in between two bridge or poker sessions is also advisable. It can help you feel more at ease and stress-free, as the game has simple rules that anyone can follow and it does not require the use of any complicated strategies and skills. Anything that can keep the stress at bay is also good for the immune system.
As part of the Berkeley study, the subjects were divided into three different groups and were asked to play a 90-minute bridge set. They were taken blood samples both before and after playing the games. All subjects showed significant changes in their white blood cell levels. These cells are responsible for searching for viruses inside the body.
Diamond said that in two of the groups, the levels of these T cells increased significantly. The third group showed only a slight increase, not enough to be statistically significant. The rise in the number of CD-4 cells was the only change visible in all of the blood tests. In other words, we can play bridge, poker or meditate and basically influence the way our immune system works. Pick up the phone and call your buddies and go out on a fun bridge or poker night – you won’t just be having fun and potentially win some money, but you will also kickstart your immunity and steer clear from disease. It’s definitely worth a try!
How Else Can You Strengthen Your Immune System?
The immune system requires a lot of pampering and care in order to work the right way and fight off germs, bacteria and other health-threatening invaders. Having a healthy lifestyle is one powerful tool to use. Eating a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising on a daily basis for at least 20 minutes, getting enough quality sleep at night, quitting smoking and other drugs, drinking alcohol in moderation – these are just a few of the main direction to follow if you want to have a healthier, stronger and better working immune system.
Keeping stress to a minimum may be easier said than done, but it will prove to also positively influence your immunity. Incorporate more games, walks, movie marathons and music into your life – anything that relaxes you and helps ease the pressure and anxiety is welcome.