The Ultimate Guide To Boosting Your Immune System
Our immune system is incredibly complex. It is our protection from the outside world of countless bacteria, viruses and fungi. It is important to do all that you can, to strengthen it, so it can protect you. When an intruder threatens you, your immune system goes to work, to identify, surround, and destroy the offending organism, usually with such speed and efficiency, you never even know that it’s there. Sometimes, however, especially in our current environment of the COVID-19 virus, our immune system may be compromised, and not as strong as it could be. That’s when the opportunistic infectors strike!
How it works: Germs (viruses, bacteria and fungi) are all around us. They’re in the air, on the ground, on our skin, and inside our bodies too! Germs are essential parts of life, but when you’re sick, they can be really annoying, and sometimes dangerous, parts of life.
Your immune system functions with the energy that it gets from the brain, and the spinal cord. This is called your “central nervous system”. The central nervous system controls everything that happens in the body, from when you wake, to when you go to sleep, and even while you’re sleeping! When a germ attacks, the immune cells in the body send a signal to the brain. “Hey! We have an intruder! Send HELP!”. The brain, in response, sends energy down to the immune cells, to produce more immune cells, to outnumber, and surround the offending germs. Then, those immune cells neutralize and break down the germs, until they no longer pose a threat, and eliminate them from the body. This happens every day, all the time. Your body is fighting off infections right now, as you read this! Unless you’re sick, you probably had no idea!
Sometimes, when your body is stressed out, physically, chemically, or emotionally, your immune system will take a hit. Like a prize fighter, it’s constantly fighting, hitting hard, but also getting hit. When your immune system is down, it needs some help. Here are some things that you can do, naturally, to give your immune system a boost, to help it keep fighting for you.
Feed Your Body!
You are what you eat! We’ve all heard that saying, but it’s kinda true. What you feed your body, can make it stronger, whether it’s carbs and fat for energy, or protein for building muscle. So make sure you’re getting enough calories to maintain strength and energy levels. All things in moderation though. Try to limit the cake, even though it does contain eggs! 😊
Work it Out!
Exercise has been shown to provide a boost to the immune system. Just 30 minutes a day, of jogging or walking, gives your heart and lungs a great workout. If you add in some weights (you don’t have to be Arnold!), even better! Just make sure not to overdo it, or else you won’t feel like doing anything but sleeping in the next day. Speaking of which….
Get Enough ZZZ’s
As we age, we need less sleep. But as we age, we also tend to worry more, and sleep well less often. One tip for a good night’s sleep, is to put the phone and the computer down at least 15 minutes before departing for dream land. This will give your brain a break from the blue waves emanating from your device, and allow your brain to achieve REM sleep faster. Also, try to set a schedule for your body. It doesn’t have to be exact, but the more regular your sleep and wake times are, the more your body can get into rhythm, and relaaaaaaaxxxxxxxxzzzzzzzzz..
Help Your Body Adjust!
A Chiropractor can be a great ally in helping you ward off sickness and disease. Since your brain communicates with your body through your nervous system, it helps to keep those nerves clear and able to transmit energy at full capacity, all the time. Just one chiropractic adjustment, has been shown to boost immunity up to 130%! During times of stress, sometimes the bones of the spine, which protect the central nervous system, can shift out of place, causing pressure on the nerves, and disruption of the energy flow. While these spinal misalignments can be painful, most spinal, and postural distortions are not, so getting your posture, and your spinal alignment checked and corrected regularly, will assure that your body is getting all the energy it needs, to fight off whatever is out there!
Vitamins and Nutrients
There are substances that are beneficial to your body, and your immune system, that your body just does not make, itself. Vitamins B complex, C, and D play roles in keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Specifically, Vitamin B helps your body deal with stress. Vitamin C aids in rebuilding and regeneration of cells, and Vitamin D increases the immune response.
Other substances, like Echinacea, Turmeric, Fish Oil, Astralagus Root, and probiotics, to aid with digestion and gut bacteria function, can all be beneficial to helping your body get and stay healthy. These substances are generally without side effects, but if you’re on any medication, make sure to ask your doctor, and/or pharmacist, about possible drug interactions.
When your body is under stress, like, let’s say during a pandemic, for example, it puts stress on all of your systems, nervous, cardiovascular, muscular, endocrine, digestive, etc. Stress can really wreak havoc on your immune system as well. Meditation is not just for yogis, or “new age” folks. Anyone can meditate. It just takes some practice. Like anything else, with practice, you’ll get better, and it will be more beneficial to you.
Start by sitting in a comfortable position, either on the floor, or in your favorite chair. Close your eyes (after you finish reading this blog, of course!), and just focus on something that brings peace to you. It may feel strange, or funny at first. You can start by doing this for just 5 minutes, and work your way up to 30 minutes or more. That’s the great thing about meditation. You can do it for as long, or as little as you’d like. No stress!
Your immune system is essential to keeping your body healthy, and strong. By following these tips, you can help strengthen your immune response, and keep what’s out there, well… out there!