JUDY GAMAN SHARED THE IMPORTANCE OF ROMANCE IN IMPROVING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM ON SOUTHLAKE STYLE MAGAZINE
When’s the last time you shared a romantic meal with your better half? Or stared into their eyes with loving thoughts? If your relationship has grown stale, there’s no better time than now to rekindle the fire. Science tells us that love and romance are key components to a healthy immune system. Angry feelings, on the other hand, harm your immune system, leaving us all with the obvious conclusion that a pandemic is the wrong time to pick a fight or hold a grudge. So, make a pact with your partner this month and throughout the year to stay positive and increase the passion.
THE SCIENCE OF LOVE
As humans, we’re wired to give and accept love. Reciprocal relationships trigger a menagerie of chemicals that remind our brain and entire body that things are good and everything is going to be okay. Doesn’t that sound like something we all need to hear? When romance is turned up and defenses down, the brain releases dopamine, a chemical that gives a physiological reward high. When coupled with norepinephrine, mood increases and giddy or euphoric are adjectives that describe how one may feel. As relationships form, serotonin reduces. Then couples move into a phase of attachment where oxytocin, the “happy” juice, floods the body. Relationships that stay romantic, keep oxytocin running through their bodies as if it were on a slow drip. Couples like this are easy to identify, as they’re usually smiling, holding hands or trying a little harder than others. That effort, physiologically at least, seems to pay off.
LOVE AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
It’s time to turn up the romance as if your life depends on it. Why? Because it may. While all of the effects of love on the body have not yet been fully discovered or understood, those in the field of psychoneuroendocrinology have identified changes in genetic expression during romantic feelings and how this expression positively effects the immune system. The opposite is also true, as bad feelings can lead to a decrease in immune function. When we’re stressed or fighting, cortisol levels increase, leading to inflammation and an inability to fight off infections. The good news is that oxytocin has the ability to reverse the damage that cortisol does and restore balance within the brain and throughout the body. This balance allows the immune system to focus on doing its primary job, fighting off bad bacteria and viruses.
JUMP START YOUR ROMANCE
If it’s been a while since your relationship has seen a good old fashioned date, take this opportunity to impress your partner like never before. Romance comes in all shapes, sizes and budgets. Don’t think it has to be expensive. Studies have shown that the most memorable romantic moments were the ones that were the most creative and came from the heart. Put your own relationship on the slow drip that fuels the love fire. Try one or all of these.
- Prepare a candle-lit dinner at home, accompanied by a written list of all the reasons you love your partner.
- Hold hands in public and at home.
- Practice gazing into each other’s eyes for 1-2 minutes at a time.
- Leave little love notes around where they can be found.
Bio: Judy Gaman is the CEO at Executive Medicine of Texas, a luxury medical practice that specializes in primary care concierge medicine and age management. She is also the author of several award-winning books, including her memoir “Love, Life, and Lucille.”
Executive Medicine of Texas
2106 E. State Hwy 114, Suite 300, Southlake, Texas 76092