Three Ways to Improve Your Immune System
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many are taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from the virus. We wear masks when going out of our homes, social distance when possible and perhaps some of us are more mindful with what we touch. Although these are proactive and necessary measures, there is more we can do to ensure not just the safety of our loved ones, but our community too. In this month’s blog, we will look at four natural remedies to boost the immune system through sleep, exercise, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine – in this case, herbal remedies such as tea.
We all know how important sleep is, and although we may find ways to deter midday tiredness for a few hours (such as that late morning espresso), eventually it catches up to us in the end. Did you know a decrease in regular sleep hours or an erratic sleep schedule can put one at a greater risk of attracting the common cold or flu? When we sleep, our bodies naturally increase substances called cytokines. To combat viruses, such as the common flu, our bodies need to increase these messenger signals to quickly recover from an illness!
Although a lack of sleep is generally not good for one’s health, it can be detrimental to our immune system as well. The number of hours of sleep needed to be at our most optimal varies from age group to age group. However, the average adult needs between seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Always make room for more sleep, your body will thank you in the long run.
Speaking of running, exercise is a terrific way to boost the immune system! Even a mild to moderate workout can be enough to give your immune system the jumpstart it needs. Aside from being a safety precaution for many diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) a regular workout routine is beneficial for the body and mind. It is a natural remedy to help soothe the symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety.
The greatest advantage to consistent exercise is there is no reason to overdo it! In fact, studies show that too much exercise can be counterproductive – so no reason to sign up for that 26-mile marathon! No, all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes, a bottle of water, and a beautiful clear day for a walk around your neighborhood or local park.
Another way to boost the immune system and give your body the love it deserves is through traditional Chinese medicine – specifically acupuncture. Although acupuncture is an ancient practice, it is a proven method to prevent and heal the immune system that is beneficial for one’s health today!
Acupuncture increases the immune cells that help promote a healthy body and it can play a significant role to relieve anxiety and stress. Studies show that consistent, regular treatment produces T-cells that help ward off and fight viruses such as the common cold and flu. Through acupuncture, you are guaranteed to have any underlying issue addressed and potentially resolved altogether!
When it comes to naturopathic medicine, especially the use of botanical medicine, there is room for variety! This plant-based medicines can be taken in more than just the conventional way such as in pill form. It can be brewed into tea! The most common types are chamomile, ginger, turmeric, valerian, and echinacea tea – just to name a few!
Naturopathic medicine uses botanical medicine, also known as herbal medicine, as effective and safe therapies. A naturopathic treatment can consist of teas as an easy daily and tasty tonic, able to relieve digestive issues, promote better cardiovascular health, relieve menstrual discomfort, fight infections, weaken the grip of insomnia, and can even be used as a natural painkiller.
Although these remedies are natural, this does not imply that all are safe for every Individual. They could pose a risk with already taken medication. For example, it is not recommended you take St. John’s Wort with Prozac and Zoloft or any other SSRIs that are prescribed to treat depression and anxiety.
These are just four ways to boost and protect your immune system. Regular visits with an acupuncturist and/or naturopathic doctor can give you a more individualized and wholistic care to treat specific conditions to address any immune dysfunction. However, with more sleep, exercise, and introducing a variety of teas into your diet, you are maximizing your health benefits and preventing chronic diseases, thus securing a long, satisfying life now as well as n the future!