Our Immune Systems Will Thank Us Later for the Steps That We Take Now
Everyone is talking about immunity right now, with good reason. The effect that COVID-19 has had on our lives has been jarring and profound, and we’re all living with the fear that it could hurt someone we love, or that we could contract it ourselves.
Patients of ours (and literally anyone who has interacted with Derek or I over the last ten years) have probably (definitely) heard us talk about how great acupuncture can be for boosting your whole system, not just the symptoms that drive folks to make their first appointment.
If you’ve ever come in for back pain and found yourself sleeping better, getting sick less, and feeling your digestion improve then you know what I’m talking about.
We can't wait to start using acupuncture again soon, and in the meantime we've been diving into the other tools we know to help people build up the best immune systems they can with what you have at home.
While this Will pass, and life Will get back to normal, we will be re-entering a world that is changed. Our perspectives and priorities for our health will need to rise to meet this new challenge.
In that spirit, here are some tips for boosting your own immune system with the tools you have now and that you can carry with you as we move forward.
Reducing and managing stress
We’re facing a lot of new challenges now, from concern for our loved ones to lost income. I for one never expected to be homeschooling (Luckily it's not algebra) . That’s why it’s Extra Important to be purposeful with your strategies for building resilience to stress.
This can be done by being deliberate about your sleep routine, taking time for mindful breathing and movement, and getting your blood moving with a walk in the fresh air. When we take a minute to recenter, relax our shoulders and calm our minds we may not think of it as a boost to our immune health, but it is!
We often hear about the negative effects of stress on our heart health. It’s important to also consider that exposure to chronic stress (especially if we don’t have consistent ways of coping with it) has a direct effect on our body’s ability to fight off illness. We can directly aid that fight by adapting routine ways of dealing with stress.
Did I mention that the meditation app ‘Balance’ has a one year free trial to help us all through this? I am not (yet) skilled at quieting my mind, but I’ve found the reminders and 3 minute beginner sessions Extremely helpful.
Supporting a healthy gut
When I was in school for my master’s in nutrition, a teacher described the human body as being donut shaped. Yes. Donut shaped. I can’t unsee it (and now neither can you. You’re welcome).
The point he was making was that our gut is a first point of exposure to the outside world, though everything that we ingest. So our gut becomes a breathable barrier to the outside world, just like our skin.
If we have a digestive system that has been weakened by inflammation, food sensitivity, or stress it’s like having an open cut. Things will come through that shouldn’t, and then our immune system needs to get involved. Over time our immune systems will get tired and weaken.
You can help protect the barrier in your gut by increasing fiber in your diet, drinking lots of water, eating Complex carbohydrates like root vegetables and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa), and allowing time for full digestion before you turn in for the night.
You can also check out this article on gut-friendly snacks!
If you’re looking for a good probiotic and don’t want to head to the store, you can find my favorites by logging into our online supplement dispensary Here.
Amazon warehouses are hot, and probiotics generally don’t like that. You’ll get a better product by ordering from a clinical dispensary like this one.
Take steps to reduce inflammation
By now many people have heard of inflammation as the root of chronic disease. Another element of chronic inflammation that we need to be aware of, especially now, is the role of inflammation in suppressing our immune systems.
You can use your daily habits to shift your system from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory. This way you'll take an unnecessary burden off of our bodies immune response and can fight viruses like COVID-19 from taking hold.
You can shift your body to an anti-inflammatory state is by following something like the Mediterranean Diet. It's high in fruits and veggies, limits red meat to once per week or less, is low in saturated fat and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
These changes are hard to make, so to assess how these types of changes can fit into your life you can schedule a free Discovery Call to see how our online nutrition programs could benefit you.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese medicine has a (very) long history of using specific combinations of herbs to create individual medicines for individual people with individual symptoms.
Western clinical research has backed the use of Chinese herbal formulas to boost the immune system and protect against disease. These herbal prescriptions can also boost your energy and alleviate body pain!
If you’re interested in learning more, contact WholeWellnessLainey@gmail.com
Movement and exercise
Exercise is great for your sleep, your mood, boosts your immunity and fights inflammation.
If you were too busy for exercise and movement before self-isolation, this may be the perfect time to introduce some movement into your life!
No one is expecting you to morph into an Olympic power lifter during quarantine. Small changes make a big difference. You can do this by finding some yoga through YouTube or an online program can or even starting with five push ups a day.
If you’re interested in supplementing your diet to help boost immunity check out the ‘Immunity Packs’ listed in our online supplement dispensary! Here you can pick and choose from my favorite and most trusted supplements to boost your immune system. And you get a discount!
Check it out here at https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/pivot and save yourself a trip to the store.