Surprising Ways to Boost Your Immune System
This article is a guest post by Jennette Cable ND, CTN, CCH
Listening to music can boost immunity, making it less likely that you’ll catch the latest bug going around. Stress-reducing music supports the body in creating antibodies that fight disease. The key (pun intended) is to listen to music that reduces stress levels, thereby reducing cortisol levels.
What kind of music boosts immunity? First and foremost, it must be music that you absolutely love. Your immunity-boosting playlist should stir your soul. Take time to gather songs that relax you AND lift your mood.
Keep in mind that some of the music we love may also excite us, and this excitement is not always immunity-boosting. A playlist that is designed to “entrain” your mood is optimal. Entraining music contains beats and key signatures that are capable of gradually changing our mood to a more uplifting, positive one. Consider a sound therapy consultation with a sound therapist to assist you in compiling your optimal immune-boosting playlist.
More supportive than listening to music when attempting to boost your immune system is actually making music. It has been discovered that individuals who participated in a group drum circle experienced an increase in natural killer-cell activity immediately after participation.
On the other hand, excessive volume and noise can weaken your immune system. Exposure to heavy syncopated beats and loud noise is known to trigger muscle tension, constrict blood vessels, and increase heartbeat – all of which can increase your susceptibility to illness.
Research conducted at Cornell University showed that women who worked in noisy offices produced greater amounts of adrenaline (a stress hormone) than those who worked in quiet office conditions, possibly making them more susceptible to heart disease. Exposure to other uncontrollable noises such as car alarms, barking dogs, and other environmental noises has an equally negative effect on the immune system.
So, listening to your soul, banging a drum, and helping your neighbor find a good dog trainer may all support you in feeling better during this year’s cold and flu season!
If you find you’ve gotten run down and need to do something fast, try this:
Cold Sock Treatment
Jennette Cable, ND, CTN, CCH
Creative Care & Wellness Center
The cold socks treatment is a long-standing naturopathic therapy for stimulating the immune system. It is effective in relieving the symptoms of many upper respiratory conditions such as head and chest colds, earaches, the flu, sore throats and even allergies. Relief is often seen within thirty minutes. If it is not, one can repeat the treatment while the patient remains covered and in bed. After four hours or usually by morning, the wet socks should be totally dry, the feet warm and the symptoms gone or much improved.
Step 1: Soak the foot part of a pair of 100% cotton socks in very cold water and wring them out thoroughly.
Step 2: Put the patient’s feet into a basin or bathtub of hot water, as hot as tolerable without burning. Have the bath deep enough to cover the ankles. Have the patient sit on a chair or the edge of the tub, and keep the rest of the body warm. Soak the feet for about 5 to 8 minutes until they are hot and pink.
Step 3: Remove the feet from the hot water and pat then dry with a towel.
Step 4: Immediately put on the cold wet cotton socks, and then a pair of dry wool socks over those. At this point the patient should be covered and kept warm.
Step 5: Patient should go directly to bed, keeping the feet covered throughout the night. This therapy is not effective if the feet are uncovered, or if the patient walks around or sits in a chair uncovered. This home remedy works through a process of hemodynamics – by moving the blood to a specific area of the body, in this case the feet. When the blood is drawn away from the head to warm the feet, pressure in the head is relieved and the symptoms of the illness may disappear. The Cold Sock Treatment typically induces sleep almost immediately.
This treatment may actually boost the immune system, moving the patient through the illness faster.