Support Your Immune System By Calming it Down
Last article I mentioned I would be writing about boosting your immune system. As I began to write, though, I realized it’s a much more complex subject to simplify so I’m going to break it down into some smaller components. It’s important to really understand some of this complexity before you jump into building the immune system.
The right action taken at the wrong time can result in unexpected results.
This will actually take three articles. I apologize I haven’t gotten this out sooner, but I’ve been a bit frazzled lately…. I found out last week I will be opening my own yoga space, very exciting! But lot’s of details, paperwork and running around. I also discovered two of my kids have gluten allergies, one of them eggs too. Add back to school season, new routines, schedules and Fall allergies and I’ve needed to take every moment I can to stay balanced. I know more than ever stress management plays a huge role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Is Bigger Always Better? Our culture values BIG, SUPERSIZE, STRENGTH in everything. We’re perfomance driven: Cars, Muscles, Energy Drinks, Vitamins.
Like a lot of people, for years I thought supporting the immune system meant making it stronger. While most think of boosting the immune system into action, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. There is still so much that even Immunologists don’t know about our immune system, we have very complex systems. To get a glimpse into one small cell, watch this amazing 3-D video from Biovision.
Though we don’t know everything about the human body, we do know enough about some principles that can keep us healthy. This article will focus on Calming the immune system to help it run most efficiently.
There are several factors that can affect your immune system’s effectiveness, one of them is
1. Depleted Resources (Energy). When you body is stressed, your immune system suffers. When you rest,it allows your body to do what it was designed to do. Can your immune system do too much?
Overactive immune systems result in a number of illnesses and diseases including allergies, and autoimmune disorders like Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. When the body is ill, the immune system kicks in and becomes inflamed as it fights bacteria, viruses and pathogens. Normal bodies calm down after the crisis has passed, systems that don’t shut down cause chronic inflammation that leads to autoimmune disorders and disease.
My biggest energy drain has been FALL ALLERGIES. I’ve had allergies my whole life, got shots when I was seven. They were under control for years, then two years ago I was hit with asthma. It cleared up pretty quick when I eliminated foods I was allergic to. It’s been pretty normal up until about 2 weeks ago when I did some yard work (dry brush plus Fall mold) and created the perfect storm again.
I layered on lavender (antihistamine) essential oil and R.C. (eucalyptus: anti-inflammatory eases congestion) to open up my sinuses, which they did, but a little too quickly. My nose ran like a faucet for over 12 hours, I could feel my entire sinus cavity inflamed. If there is a form of Montezuma’s Revenge for sinuses, I had it. While I controlled the congestion, the oils I used were not targeting my inflamed head. I was so miserable I actually toyed with the idea of going to the drug store for over the counter meds. Besides not even knowing where to begin looking, I didn’t feel like discovering what side effects I’d also acquire by taking this route.
My intuition was telling me I needed to decrease inflammation. I knew if I could just relieve the swelling inside my head I’d feel better. Which leads me to point 2 about supporting a healthy immune system:
2. Decrease Inflammation to Build Your Immune System Up
Inflammation is the bad guy in immune system dysfunction. Most people think if they are suffering from symptoms their immune system is not doing it’s job, when it most likely is working overtime, and producing the symptoms as it fights. Scientists have been working some time on anti-flu drugs, to specifically target inflammation from an over-reactive immune system. Pandemic flus like the one in 1918 resulted in so many deaths because of immune responses to the virus. SARS deaths were also a result of over active immune response to a virus. This syndrome is known in medical community as cytokine storm. Viruses and bacteria become lethal when immune system floods the body with immune building cells that affect major body systems, like the lungs filling with mucous to fight a virus (pneumonia).
Crisis = Inflammation Did my allergic rhinitis turn into a cytokine storm? I’m not totally sure, but I was in a crisis mode and needed some body support quick. Even though my exposure to the allergens had passed, my body continued to fight with vengeance. I had learned the week before at a Nature’s Remedy Class that Young Living’s Multi-greens and Ningxia Red combined are a powerhouse of antioxidants, energy and nutrients. This combination is also highly anti-inflammatory. I figured at least I needed all of the above, and needed somewhere to start so I tried it.
Since I’m not a doctor, I don’t try to “treat” myself, I look at ways I can get my body healthier with the basics: food, water, rest. How often do we want to take a shortcut, a pill, and continue to burn the candle at both ends? I’ve learned this doesn’t work for me, and often a little R & R goes a long way to getting me back on my feet.
”Multi-Greens” is a supplement packed with green food nutrients: Barley, Spirulina, Alfalfa, Kelp plus essential oils to deliver the nutrients deep into the cells: rosemary, lemon, lemongrass and melissa.
For 4 hours I was free of a burning runny nose and I actually felt better. I had energy to actually enjoy a football game despite getting 4 hours of sleep the night before. I did repeat this 4 more times every time I started to feel symptoms coming back, which got longer in between supplements. What was amazing was I literally felt the inflammation go away in my head. Within 24 hours, I went from the most miserable I’ve ever been to breathing freely and the next night I slept like a baby. Iran out of Ningxia Red and my symptoms came back after going without for almost a week. I did get a shipment in yesterday, Yay! I took 2 Multi-greens and 1 single Ningxia Red packet right away and have been good now for over 24 hours. I plan to implement Multi-Greens plus Ningxia Red daily for the next month or so as Fall Mold continues to grow. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. In the meantime, here are:
5 Things that can decrease inflammation and calm the immune system:
1. Drink enough water – anyone who’s had surgery knows how quickly you can spike a fever (inflammation from trauma) if you are dehydrated. Drink water each day: half your body weight in ounces. Good rule to follow? If your pee is dark yellow, you need more water. Too much water is not good either, if your pee is clear, you’re flushing out essential minerals that keep you in balance. Stay hydrated on the inside to keep your body cool. All body systems run better when they are saturated with enough water.
2. Eat more green foods (parsley, kale, spinach, salad greens) many of these are alkaline versus acidic. Most foods in the American diet are acidic and encourage inflammation.
3. The right essential oils – my favorite anti-inflammatory essential oils are Helichrysum, clove, Chamomile (Roman & German), myrrh, Ravensara, and thyme. Most of these can be helpful when used in the Raindrop Therapy or massaged into the lymph system.
4. Breathe and calm down. When your central nervous system is heightened, hormones surge through your body. Adrenaline, Cortisol and Aldosterone are hormones produced when the body is under stress. If your body’s “flight” mode never calms down, the immune system is compromised. Chronic stress leads to Chronic disease. Manage stress on a daily basis so your body can return to normal and your immune system will run like it should.
5. Balance your active fitness routine with calming exercises like yoga, qi gong and tai chi. Vigorous exercise increases inflammation in body and can actually aggravate over-active immune systems.
Are you surprised by any of these? What do you do to keep your immune system in balance?
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. If you are sick, seek treatment from a medical doctor.