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If you are a member of Earthly Essentials ~ The Community, the immune system & response is a topic that we previously addressed in our Wellness Wednesday Video Session. If you are not a member, I encourage you to head on over to join in on many more in-depth topics of holistic health, wellness, and self-awareness & growth with a community of empowering individuals.
The immune system is something we are each familiar with. It works hard daily to ensure our health and sometimes our immune response is really put to the test. Knowing how to maintain its strength is something that can assist you through some of the more difficult times -health-wise. However, knowing how this system works is quite incredible and in-depth. So we will just skim the surface in this brief overview before we move on to ways you can aid your immune system in having a strong immune response daily.
The incredible thing about the body is that it is unique and has the ability to self heal from foreign substances that attack the body. The body wants to remain in a state of homeostasis- a stable functioning environment. While the body’s desire is to self-heal, it does require that we remain aware of ourselves, provide what is needed to maintain proper function, and help it a bit more when the body needs some extra TLC.
What happens during your immune response
Viruses & bacteria are all around us; we are in constant contact with foreign substances of all sorts. And since we are each unique, we react to different strains differently.
For example, it’s flu season, Mom and 2 children get quite ill. Yet Dad and 1 child only experience the sniffles and mild stomach issues. Why is this? What could cause individuals in the same household who, more than likely, caught the same virus to react so differently?
Uniqueness. Everyone, from birth, has been exposed to different variables. The environments experienced throughout life, exposure to different substances, immune strength gained from parents or immunizations (or lack thereof), health history, stress levels, nutrition, and self-care, etc. These are the variables that influence the functions of the body- which include the immune response.
There are 2 types of immune responses from the body.
- Non-Specific: This type of immune response involves the mucus barriers in the eyes, nose, chest. It also involves the skin which sweats as part of the elimination system. The tear ducts in the eyes. As well as the lymphatic system which circulates lymph which also works as part of the elimination system. This type of immune response is best associated with preventative measures for keeping foreign substances out of the body.
- Specific: This type of immune response is considered “specific” because the body specifically targets foreign substances and pathogens that have entered the body, such as viral and bacterial infections that work to harm the body from the inside. This response involves cells within the body such as White Blood Cells, T Cells, B Cells, etc. During this response, an excess of these cells respond to the infected area and antibodies are created to fight the specific infecting pathogens. Memory cells are also created so that the body remembers the antibodies in case this infection occurs in the future; they can better fight against the foreign substance/ pathogen. The specific immune response can be associated with warriors called to battle (as I like to explain to my children when they fall ill). They respond specifically to a certain pathogen.
Let’s focus more on our specific immunity.
Viruses are constantly mutating and so it is very important to prepare the body and make choices that strengthen the immune system. The constant mutation, and exposure when it occurs, means the immune system is constantly adapting and fighting to create antibodies and eliminate the pathogen. As you can imagine, this requires a lot of expended energy from the body. And since the immune system is highly critical to the body maintaining homeostasis, it will take what it needs from other areas of the body to ensure that the immune response is as strong as it can be.
However, those other parts of the body that are being weakened become depleted and must substitute this depletion of important things, such as nutrients, from other areas. Over time, especially when the immune system is required to fight for longer periods of time, the entire body becomes so depleted that there is poor functioning all around because the body has nothing left to give.
But you can do something to avoid this!
We were not created to be ill. This is not what God intended for us on this Earth. Whether it be our body, mind, or spirit, it can be healed with the correct understanding of self and assisting it along the way. This begins with listening to what your body is saying to you. The body is constantly giving off signs and feelings, you just have to learn to listen and see what it is telling you.
There is so much that you can do to aid in a strong immune response
This begins with preparing early. Create a foundation for a strong response so that your body has something strong to work with when it first is invaded by a foreign substance/ pathogen. Because during this initial invasion, the body will usually not exhibit immediate symptoms.
This would be done by your daily choices.
- Exercise & regular physical activity
- Proper nutrition that is filled with whole, nutrient-dense foods
- Positive mindset and energetic frequencies
- Adequate rest and relaxation
- Good quantities of water intake to ensure hydration
But there is more that you should do when you notice your immune system working harder. As soon as you begin to feel unlike yourself or ill, you should help your body and immune response by taking more of an active role in your health.
There are many tools for this and many wellness coaches and doctors that can aid during these times.
- Above all, remain positive and remind your body that it has the strength to heal itself- positivity is everything! Psychoimmunology- the way the mind affects the immune system. It is real and the mind plays a large role in all aspects of your health, which includes the immune system
- Increase nutritional intake. Add more fruits, vegetables, and bone broth to your daily diet. Nutrients and vitamins are known to aid in healthy functioning and during times of illness, the body needs more of them
- Utilize herbs. Herbal medicine has been utilized since Bible times and herbs, when used properly, have incredible support properties for healing
- Keep moving. Movement keeps your blood circulating and your lymphatic system moving, both which help filter out the toxic substance/pathogen and aid in your recovery and healing. This can be as simple as stretching or pacing your yard to get some simple movement in
- Don’t forget to rest. Adequate sleep and downtime are crucial as well. Utilize things like epsom salt baths, aromatherapy, binaural beats, deep breathing, etc. to aid in proper sleep
- Aromatherapy is powerful. There are oils to support every body system and aid in almost every symptom experienced from illness. They are not a cure-all, but they provide the body with support and relief that it needs during stressful times
- Reflexology and acupressure are wonderful to help alleviate symptoms and support certain organ functions
- There are numerous professionals that should be considered as well. Chiropractors, acupuncturists (and there is laser acupuncture for those with apprehension towards needles, herbalists, aromatherapists, wellness coaches, naturopathic doctors, energy healers, nutritionists, etc. All individuals with a passion to help others live a quality life and maintain health
- Above all, listen closely to your body. Watch for signs and allow yourself to feel where the problems are.
Remember, you know you best. You are your greatest advocate. And when you learn to understand yourself, especially in times of illness, you can ensure that your body receives what it needs most.
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Remember, you are your biggest advocate and change maker on your wellness journey! I would love to work with you one on one or see you join Earthly Essentials ~ The Community and join in on our live coaching sessions, Wellness Wednesdays, and so much more on Holistic, yet Realistic, Health & Wellness.