According to a new research people who feel ill should be advised to go on a vacation. Not only will a change in scenery help them relax but it will also aid in their recovery. The study suggests that a person’s immune system can be given a much-needed recharge when put in an environment that has a stimulating effect linked to curiosity.
During the study a group of laboratory mice were put in a large cage with toys for two weeks. The results showed that such a stimulating environment ended up boosting the power of their white blood cells and helped them to fight against various infections. According to Professor Fulvio D’Acquisto, from the Queen Mary University of London, the current effect can be considered as remarkable because none of the mice were given any sort of drugs. Only their housing conditions were changed and that was enough to help increase the effectiveness of their immune system. The researchers related this change in environment to what humans experience when they go on vacation at a resort and are allowed to enjoy their time there.
The white blood cells in an individual’s body play an important factor when it comes to fighting diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and numerous infections. Keeping the current results in mind, Professor D’Acquisto has suggested that sick people should be prescribed a holiday in order for them to recover while office workers who are worn-out should also be given a break to get their immune system back to its potential effectiveness.
The current study has been published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology. Professor D’Acquisto went on to add that perhaps the effectiveness of drugs can be boosted by providing patients with something that is environmentally stimulating. The results could help create more promising approaches when it comes to treating chronic diseases.
These results offer more support to previously conducted research. Researchers have done a comparison between the positive effects of short-term relaxation and intensive meditation for people who meditate regularly. Both of these things helped to lessen the level of stress and improved the immune system. Relaxing allowed the body to come out of, what is described as, a ‘defensive posture’ which in turn allowed the immune system to function properly.
A total of 102 women aged from 30 to 60 years old participated in the previous study. Blood tests were conducted before and after their five day stay at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. Approximately one-third of the participating women were signed up to do meditation and yoga at the retreat. About half of the non-meditation women were assigned to the meditation and yoga program while the other half weren’t. All of the women were given a healthy anti-inflammatory diet. The participants also reported on symptoms of depression, stress, mindfulness, and vitality on the fifth day, after one month, and then ten months later.
Staying at the resort for one week allowed women to feel a decrease in distress and an increase in their levels of vitality regardless of them being in the vacation group or participating in meditation and yoga. An improvement in psychological well-being was observed in all three groups by the fifth day and even one month later. However, ten months later, the women who participated in meditation and yoga during the study experienced lesser amounts of stress and symptoms of depression compared to women who were only assigned on vacation.
The results showed that individuals who meditated were able to increase the activity of telomerase which is a key enzyme that plays a role in strengthening and repairing the chromosomal tips. The blood samples of the participating women showed changes in genetic expression as well as in the aging biomarkers.
These conducted studies provide further support to the fact that relaxing while on vacation can help an individual increase their vitality and ward off diseases.