Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) describes a person’s vital life force as Qi, the flow of energy that sustains all life forms. For a strong and healthy immune system, we need good Protective Qi, protecting us from external pathogens. Our Protective Qi is said to be ruled by the Lungs, but because our body is a complex system, the Lungs need to be supported by the Spleen delivering good Nutritive Qi and the Kidneys, housing our Original Qi, our life force. In western medicine terms, this means that we need a good supply of fresh oxygen, good nutrients that keep our blood sugar stable and can be transformed into energy, healthy T cells, and lymphocytes to fight off pathogens and healthy DNA to create new cells. Seeing it this way, TCM is an amazing study of the body and the importance of maintaining good health.
A strong immune system however also relies on a healthy mind. In the Indian Chakra system, the thymus and heart chakras are closely linked to a person’s self-love furthermore are seen as the key immune system centre. Caroline Myss, a five-time New York Times bestselling author describes how issues of defence, boundaries, and self-love can lead to a weakened immune system. For example, when we feel threatened or under stress, we emotionally defend ourselves by generating attitudes that keep people at a distance, protecting ourselves from ‘invasion’. However, we need a balance in our lives between this defensive energy and spending time with people we feel safe with. We all need a support network to recharge the energy of our immune system with feelings of safety and support. Without it, our ‘defense’ system runs on high energy almost continually, leading to it becoming weaker and weaker and us becoming more and more susceptible to infection by external pathogens.
So how do we give our immune system super powers?
Spend time outside and go for nice slow walks on sunny days, or for a brisk walk in the rain and breath deeply to fill up every cell of your body with fresh oxygen.
Love and Laugh
Spend time with people you love, call upon your support network for big hugs, cuddles, and laughter. Spend time reading a good book, watch those funny animal videos that make you grin to both of your ears. ‘Let joy flow through your life’ as Louise Hay would say.
Help your immune system by resolving those repressed emotions, that negative inner talk or those limiting believes taking way too much energy from you.
The importance of a good night sleep cannot be rated high enough. Give yourself some wind down time, maybe that’s the time when you use some lavender oil and meditate. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Keep a good room temperature in your bedroom, not too hot and not too cold. Use a diffuser during the night if you wake up with a dry throat, mouth or insides of your nose.
Eat more veggies, nice old-fashioned soups, and stews, go organic whenever you can, indulge in warming herbal teas and drink lots of room temperature water. Introduce antiviral and antifungal foods like turmeric, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and oregano, just to name a few.
Support with Supplements and Essential Oils
Support your immune system with the right supplements like Zinc, Vitamin C and A, Selenium, Lysine (to kick those cold sores in the butt) as well as probiotics. Essential oils such as Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary are really good immune supporters, too.
Look through your household and see if you can exchange those chemical cleaning products with natural ones. Also check your cosmetics for toxins, which ones have too many ingredients you cannot pronounce? Reduce your exposure to noise pollution and information overload.
Introduce more Yin exercises, calming and soft exercises such as stretching, yin yoga, deep breathing, meditation, Thai Qi or Qi Gong.
“Laughter every day keeps the runny nose away” 🙂