The Immune System and Wellbeing
By Anthony Mayatt 20 October 2011 14:01:00 UTC
Hello all and welcome to the next blog all about the immune system by integrative therapist Spencer Joseph.
As winter approaches I wanted to send some brief thoughts about staying healthy.
The human immune system is a highly complex, coordinated system of cells, tissues, and soluble molecules. Essentially it defends against attack from pathogenic (disease causing) entities.
The 4 key roles of the immune system are:
1. Recognition: Detect possible attack or infection
2. Effector function: Contain and destroy infection
3. Regulation: Control activity to avoid damage to the body
4. Memory: Remember exposure so as to react immediately upon re-exposure to the same pathogen.
We have both innate and adaptive immunity, which means that we can draw not only on our fundamental defences but also on our current available resources. This means that we can all take responsibility for our own health by enquiring into our own unique circumstances and needs.
The immune system is greatly influenced by all kinds of physical and emotional stress so consider the following as options to increase your immunity during Winter:
1. Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwaganda, rhodiola or siberian ginseng may provide a useful tonic.
2. Use traditional cooking herbs such as cayenne pepper, ginger and turmeric.
3. Favour warming foods such as soups or stews.
4. Spend a few minutes every day in silence observing your breath.
5. Consider physical therapy and/or acupuncture to support blood circulation.
6. Take at least 2g of Vitamin C, 20mg of Zinc and 2 capsules of Omega 3 oils daily.
7. Get sunlight when you can and take 400 iu of Vitamin D daily if required.
8. Consider a SAD light box if winter really gets to you.
9. Observe your posture - drop your shoulders and straighten your spine.
Winter is a natural season for introspection and reflection. Take some time to consider the patterns in your life. We are all driven by powerful unconscious as well as conscious drives, but the repeating patterns in our life situations are often reflections of these hidden forces at work. A healthy immune system will be supported by appropriate relationship, friendship, community, work and rest.