According to TCM concepts, the body’s natural resistance against disease ant its repair ability is described as a flow of energy that circulates throughout the body, called the healthy energy.
Chinese Medicine sees a weakened immune system as being a result of QI DEFICIENCY in the Lungs and the Spleen. This is caused by an inadequate diet, hectic lifestyle, and genetic predisposition. Treatment is focussed primarily on tonifying these organ functions. One essential type of Qi is the Wei Qi. Roughly translated as “immunity,” the Wei Qi is your body’s natural strength and ability to fight off pathogens like viruses and bacteria. The Wei Qi, also called “protective Qi” flows in the space between the skin and muscles, and is the first line of defense against sickness (after your skin). Lung meridian worked as the first line of body’s defensive system while Spleen meridian are the second line of body’s defense. Lung meridians are supported by the energy in Spleen meridian. The energy in Spleen meridian is supported by Liver and Kidney meridians, which is considered as the third line of body’s immune system.
Over-reactive immune systems are caused by a QI IMBALANCE usually starting in the Kidneys. Chinese Medicine treatment normalises this imbalance so that your body recognises what is harmless whilst still attacking pathogens.
Our immune system comprises two main parts. The first is innate immunity. This protects you against outside threats via protective barriers, like mucus and stomach acid. The second is our adaptive immune system, which constantly develops with you. Each time you are exposed to a germ or illness, your adaptive immune system keeps a record of it and helps your body build up a pre-programmed defence so it cannot make you sick in the future. This adaptive immune process is a complex system of chemicals, cells, and biological pathways.
- Avoid stress: ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease because the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system, which then releases an array of hormones that not only gets us ready for emergency situations but severely depresses our immunity at the same time. The way it does this is by triggering chemical reactions and flooding the body with cortisol that, among other things, decreases inflammation, decreases white blood cells and NK cells.
When we’re living by the hormones of stress for extended periods of time, inflammation diminishes and compromises the function our immune system.
“In meditation, as our students move into elevated states of being by embracing feelings of love, joy, gratitude, their future, etc., these feelings drive new modes of thinking. This in turn creates new brain chemistry, brings our brains into coherence, and engenders new synaptic connections—which then influences our bodies in very immediate and direct ways. As people begin to overcome emotional states that keep them connected to past experiences—as they break out of redundant habits and automatic programs, as well as change certain self-destructive attitudes and beliefs—aspects of their immune system up-regulate genes. This means that their thoughts and feelings are signaling cells within the body’s internal defense system to turn on healthy genes to make better proteins—otherwise known as healthy anti-bodies—as well as a host of other beneficial chemicals to balance and regulate the body. This process in turn reduces inflammation, suppresses tumors, mobilizes enzymes, and so on”, Dr. Joe Dispenza.
2. Laughter lowers the production of stress hormones and increases the release of endorphins, the bodies natural “feel-good” chemicals. This combination helps increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
3. Having sex once or twice a week is connected to higher levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which helps protect you from infections and illnesses.
4. Release emotional baggage: help restore peace to your subconscious and correct physical imbalances too. This can lower your stress level by quickly getting straight to the underlying causes of negative emotional choices and nagging, negative thoughts. Removing these underlying causes of stress will also help your physical body to heal and function optimally, providing you with more energy to fulfill your commitments, meet your deadlines and create a state of acceptance and forgiveness on a daily basis.
5. Maintain a healthy microbiome: the food we eat not only feeds our fat cells, but also determines what kind of inner garden we are growing in our guts. This garden is filled with bugs that determine more about your health and your emotional and mental wellbeing than you ever imagined! Treat any infections or overgrowth of bugs like parasites, small bowel bacteria, or yeasts.
Eat whole unprocessed foods with plenty of fiber: vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, raw yogurt, fermented pickles, and whole grains.
6. Negative Ions: are molecules with extra electrons, which have a negative charge, and they are found in nature, highest in concentration in places like waterfalls, rivers, forests and near the ocean. Dr. Jacob, a Harvard Scientist who studied them, called Negative Ions the ‘Vitamins of the Air’
Dr. Svante August Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1903, discovered that waterfalls and forests are full of negative ions and that is why the air just feels so fresh and wonderful! Negative ions can improve our immune system by strengthening our immunity cells, making them more energetic, healthy and therefore enhance their ability to destroy the pathogens. Negative ions can also speed up the production of antibodies by the lymphocytes, increasing the number of antibodies in our bodies. A 2018 meta study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that negative-ion exposure boosts immune function and kills or inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, and mold, including E. coli, staphylococcus aureus, and more.
7. Get Grounded: a handful of small studies have found that grounding appears to provide some general health benefits, such as better sleep, less pain, reduced stress and tension, and better immune function compared to study participants who weren’t grounded. One study suggested that earthing eliminates the potentially harmful effects of the electromagnetic fields given off by all the electronic devices that surround us. According to earthing proponents, you can ground yourself by walking outside barefoot, sitting on the ground or being connected to the Earth via grounding devices that transfer electrons from the earth to your body.
– Vitamin C foods: citrus fruits, red bell peppers, rose hip, sea buckthorns, parsley, camu camu improve the health of your immune system by providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
– Beta-Carotene Foods: beta-carotene has powerful antioxidant activity, allowing it to help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress. Adding the following foods to your diet can help promote a strong immune system: carrot juice, pumpkin, sweet potato, apricot, kale, spinach.
– Eat sufficient protein : aim for lean (preferably) organic meat, fish, game, quinoa, eggs, pulses combined with grains, dairy foods or tofu.
– Cruciferous vegetables: are among the most powerful immune-boosting, health promoting foods. Twice as powerful as other plant foods. Arugula, bok choy, broccoli/rabe/ini, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, red cabbage, turnip greens, watercress.
– Allium vegetables ( garlic, onion, leek): allicin provides an abundance of important attributes to the body, such as antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities and cholesterol reduction by impeding harmful enzymes in liver cells. The humble onion is loaded with numerous health benefits. It has significant amounts of polyphenols (another phytochemical in onions) and an antioxidant flavonoid called quercetin (which has proven anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic functions) account for the reputation onions have for disease prevention.
9. Minerals and vitamins:
– Zinc: has long been known for its ability to shorten the length and severity of symptoms related to illnesses like common colds and the flu. It works by activating the body’s T-cells (t-lymphocytes), which triggers an immune system response. Research shows that zinc helps regulate the immune response and is necessary for the survival, proliferation and maturation of immune cells.
– Selenium: is a powerful micronutrient that acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful free radicals and decrease cell damage. In addition to initiating immunity, studies show that selenium may also be involved in regulating excessive immune responses to prevent widespread inflammation.
– Magnesium: keeps the immune system strong, helps strengthen muscles and bones, and supports many body functions from cardiac functions to brain functions.
– Germanium: has been reported to improve the immune system, boost the body’s oxygen supply, make a person feel more energetic, and destroy damaging free radicals. Germanium also protects against radiation.
10. Best Herbs:
– Echinacea: a 2003 study conducted at the University of Wisconsin Medical School found that echinacea demonstrates significant immunomodulatory activities. After reviewing several dozen human experiments, including a number of blind randomized trials, researchers indicate that echinacea has several benefits, including immunostimulation, especially in the treatment of acute upper respiratory infection.
– Astragalus root: has a very long history as an immune system booster and disease fighter. Its root has been used as an adaptogen in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Researchers concluded that astragalus extract has a beneficial effect on the immune system, and it protects the body from gastrointestinal inflammation and cancers.
– Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa): is a medicinal plant that grows in the Amazonian rainforest and other tropical areas in Central and South America. A small study in 27 men found that consuming 700 mg of cat’s claw extract for 2 months increased their number of white blood cells, which are involved in combating infections.
– Licorice: appears to enhance immunity by boosting levels of interferon, a key immune system chemical that fights off attacking viruses. Possibly by its action on the adrenal glands, licorice has the ability to improve resistance to stress. It should be thought of during times of both physical and emotional stress, after surgery or during convalescence, or when feeling tired and run down. Licorice eases congestion and coughing by helping to loosen and thin mucus in airways; this makes a cough more “productive,” bringing up phlegm and other mucus bits.
– Black cumin: of all the superbugs that this powerful oil can kill, methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important. MRSA plagues hospitals and nursing homes across the globe because ordinary staph infections are becoming resistant to generic antibiotics. Compounds in black seed oil have also been analyzed for their antifungal properties. In an effort to offer a solution to the growing antifungal resistant problem people have with yeasts and molds, a recent study was conducted with the purpose of determining if Nigella sativa seed oil could help.
– Cordyceps: some studies suggest that consuming cordyceps benefits immune function and can help optimize the health of the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and reproductive systems. This is because they contain anti-inflammatory compounds like polysaccharides, modified nucleosides and cyclosporines. Cordyceps is known to be beneficial to Lungs and Kidney health. It is slightly warm in nature and is suitable for people with Yang-deficiency, Balanced or Phlegm-Dampness constitutions.
– Shiitake: mushrooms have the ability to boost the immune system and combat many diseases by way of providing important vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Shiitake mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins, which help support adrenal function and turn nutrients from food into useable energy. They also help balance hormones naturally and break through the brain fog to maintain focus all day long — even improving cognitive performance.
– Maitake: beta-glucan, a complex fiber-sourced sugar and part of a long-chain carbohydrate (also called a polysaccharide) found in this mushroom, as well as other notable healing mushrooms. This compound has been observed ramping up the immune systems of various test subjects in many different ways. Medicinal mushrooms (and especially maitakes), while not being plants, can be called adaptogens due to the overall impact of their immune-boosting properties: reinforcing the body’s core ability to resist harms to health.
– Ginseng: gives energy and alleviates fatigue. It enhances our immunity especially in the areas of Lungs, Heart and Spleen (digestion).
– Sea buckthorn: is a deciduous shrub that produces orange-yellow berries, which have been used over centuries as food and traditional medicine in most parts of the world. Described as “Quite possibly the most fully-balanced fruit on the planet” by Dr. Oz, Sea Buckthorn is considered to be a “multivitamin” all by itself. Sea buckthorn oil is better known for it’s fatty acid content, but what truly makes sea buckthorn stand out is the complexity of it’s nutrition. Adding Sea buckthorn oil to your daily routine is a great way to enhance your vitamin E intake. Since it is not always easy to add more new vitamins to your daily routine, this is a great thing! This super oil is the key to reaching healthier immunity efficiently.
– Rose Hip: one of the most impressive benefits of rose hips is their high concentration of vitamin C.
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