Why isn't individual immunity being discussed in public health directives?
With all the measures taken surrounding the COVID 19 outbreak by governments, I have not heard our leaders share about how to restore and build up immunity. They have told us to socially distance and wash our hands, but what about the strengths our bodies all harbor? Our own immune system is our most valuable resource, and that is why I am confidently waiting this one out.
The ideas and habits I am sharing with you in this article are foundations of my health practice– my daily practice and also what I share with my clients. True health is built up or sustained over time, and even though there is no “quick fix”, there are measures that we can all start taking today to build our immunity.
Before we get to steps you can take personally, I want to address the fear that the media has created around this outbreak. Our immune systems will work to clear the virus in the vast majority of cases. Of course the virus is novel, but your body can be perfectly poised to fight viruses. That is the responsibility of our immune system. Here is a great summation from an an article about cell differentiation from nature.com
“During the incubation and non-severe stages, a specific adaptive immune response is required to eliminate the virus and to preclude disease progression to severe stages. Therefore, strategies to boost immune responses (anti-sera or pegylated IFNα) at this stage are certainly important. For the development of an endogenous protective immune response at the incubation and non-severe stages, the host should be in good general health and an appropriate genetic background (e.g. HLA) that elicits specific antiviral immunity.”
We can help fight illness through our own habits. You can help yourself through simple techniques like monitoring and alleviating stress, eating a powerful diet and daily movement. Let’s take a look at three simple things you can do right now to boost your own immunity.
Eating and drinking the right foods are a huge contributor to a healthy immune system.
You are what you eat. It really is true. The body has a complex system to monitor every morsel that you put into your mouth. There are receptors in the stomach that immediately start sending information to your brain about what nutrition you have just offered your body. As physical human beings, we are literally walking miracles. Our body is incredibly aware and sensitive to our environment, and is constantly working to keep us safe. Here is a great article for more education on this from the National Institute of Health.
So what we eat deeply impacts our immune system. Whole plant food nutrition is the simplest way to create health in the body. Processed foods (which we turn to when we want to numb out or be comforted) and meats and dairy can create a toxic load on the body. Whether you turn to a strictly vegetarian diet is a personal choice, but adding tons of fruits and vegetables to your diet and limiting meat, dairy and processed foods will lighten the load and help your body create its own health.
Here is a powerful video that explains how to better create a healthy ecosystem:
Stress is a very powerful player in your overall immunity.
If you are following the news every minute of every day around this COVID 19 affair, you are causing yourself undue stress. Developing fear and feeding those fears only bring you down. Here’s what happens when you have fear and anxiety in your thoughts. Your body releases cortisol and adrenaline which are pro-inflammatory, and can exacerbate any chronic condition you may already have. It can also lead to illness, as the body is working to fight a perceived enemy, even if that stress is simply something you are watching on television. Here is a great definition:
“The stress response can work against you. You can turn it on when you don’t really need it
and, as a result, perceive something as an emergency when it’s really not. It can turn on
when you are just thinking about past or future events. Harmless, chronic conditions can be
intensified by the stress response activating too often, with too much intensity, or for too
How do I prevent stress or remove myself from current stressful events? Here are some great proven strategies for unraveling stress in your life:
- Take a walk (more on this in a minute)
- Leave the room
- Connect to your breath (notice how you are breathing– create a slow, steady rhythm)
- Meditation or prayer
- Write in a journal
- Play with a child or with a pet
- Work on a project or hobby that you enjoy
There is really something to be said about “mind over matter”, and I am not talking about forcing yourself out of a situation. I am talking about making a conscious and present effort to leave it behind. Is it negatively affecting you? If so, then it is time to take charge of the problem. You can control your stress response in a positive and health promoting way. It is important to remember to not stoke the fires of anxiety, worry and fear. There are so many beautiful things you can accomplish and enjoy yourself.
Below is a quick overview of my personal love, gardening! This is a sneak peek into my backyard in the middle of summer, and this is what I do to keep me grounded. It is how I move and it is also how I protect and nourish myself and my family. What can you do today to nourish yourself? What passions do you have that light up your heart and your spirit? Look for those, not down the rabbit hole of fear– that will suppress your immunity. Go out and express yourself!
Movement boosts your immunity.
People often think if you don’t do a formal workout routine then you are not exercising. I say not so! There are so many ways we can move and enjoy our own skins! Sure, sometimes I go to the gym, do some weight lifting or spinning or stair climbing. But sometimes I pick fruits and vegetables and tote them around everywhere. Sometimes I hoe out weeds — or vacuum the house, or sweep and mop the floors.
I like to take walks around the neighborhood and enjoy the birds and flowers. I like to take hikes! I live near Joshua Tree National Park. It is powerful and beautiful. Maybe I will take a trip to downtown Los Angeles and walk in the city. I have a rebounder trampoline where I can walk and jump and play. There are endless possibilities for self expression. It doesn’t have to be formal exercise, but it can be, if that is YOU.
We know that it is a powerful immune builder. Movement encourages the flushing of the lymphatic system, which carries white blood cells through the body and can encourage the immune system to work better. Movement also encourages a more resilient respiratory system, which of course is very powerful against the COVID 19 virus.
Happy is the greatest immunity!
No matter what your walk is in life, being satisfied and that amazing feeling of joy and contentment is the most powerful feeling we have. It promotes our overall wellbeing and keeps us safe. So it is time for self reflection….
- How often do you feel contented and peaceful?
- Do you feed your body whole food nutrition?
- How often do you let stress overwhelm you?
- What types of coping strategies do you use to create peace?
Would you like to have more control in your life, to have peace and contentment as part of your routine? Use the strategies I have given you to start today. Life doesn’t have to be full of anxiety and stress. Know that “I’ve Got This!” Your power is wholly within you.
Want to know more? Learn about The Perfect Day Lifestyle here, or contact me to create your best life ever. I want you to thrive in spite of the Corona Virus. It doesn’t have to overwhelm you. You have the power to take control of your physical and emotional health. Believe in yourself. You’re worth it!