6 Ways to Supercharge your Immune System
Ever since the entire world had to live through an international pandemic, it is no wonder why many people are now looking for ways to boost the immune system. Having a healthy immune system helps position the body to fight off infection or heal more quickly if and when an infection happens to take hold. If you are looking for some easy and affordable tips to boost your body’s ability to handle illness, then read on to learn more.
What Is the Immune System?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the job of the immune system is to protect the body from outside viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other toxins. To do so, many organs, cells, and proteins must work together. Humans have innate immunity which they are born with. They also can develop adaptive immunity as the body becomes exposed to outside chemicals and microbes throughout their lives.
Immunity According to Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as TCM, a weak immune system indicates a Qi deficiency in both the lungs and the spleen. There are a number of possible causes for these deficiencies. For example, a study out of the School of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou found that such deficiencies may be driven by a disruption in the intestinal microbiota, high body mass index, high waste-to-hip ratio, and weakened muscles. All of these possible reasons for deficiency can be linked to stress, poor diet, and a lack of exercise.
In TCM, the aim is to get to the root cause of these deficiencies in an effort to find balance instead of simply just treating the symptoms that come along with them. To determine if one’s immune system is weakened, practitioners of TCM may look for the following signs:
- Tongue with a scalloped outline or teeth marks and a greasy coating
- Chronic skin conditions
- Digestive issues
- Frequent colds and body aches
- Chronic fatigue
Ways to Boost Immune System
Thankfully, there are many ways to boost the immune system, and they are all easy to achieve and very affordable.
1. Keep your body moving: Moderate to vigorous exercise of about one hour each day will encourage your immune cells to improve circulation. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation, enhance antibody response, and improve antipathogen activity. However, it is important to keep exercise to a moderate level and avoid a high exercise workload. Regular high intensity exercise will instead cause inflammation and oxidative stress. Stick with such activities as yoga, swimming, walking, resistance training, bicycling, and jogging.
2. Get regular sleep: Good sleep hygiene along with a healthy circadian rhythm will go a long way in boosting the immune system. With regular sleep, the central nervous system will communicate with the immune system through neurotransmitters, hormones, and cytokines to ensure it is ready to fight off any invaders. A good night’s sleep will also reduce the actions of the stress hormone cortisol. In contrast, poor sleep habits will have the opposite effect. Not getting sufficient amounts of sleep will invoke a stress response that will increase inflammation and produce deficiencies in the immune system making one more susceptible to illness.
3. Minimize stress: Chronic stress has been shown to affect many components of the immune system in a detrimental way. Stress has been shown to suppress the body’s capacity to fight off illness due to its ability to disrupt the neuroendocrine inputs to the immune system. The good news is that there are many ways to manage stress naturally. Consult with a TCM practitioner to discuss if acupuncture may help reduce your stress levels. Other activities, such as meditation, yoga, and finding a relaxing hobby will also aid in stress reduction.
4. Add herbs or herbal supplements to your daily routine: Herbal supplements are an affordable, drug-free way to boost the immune system. Herbs such as Astragalus, also known as Huang Qi , improve the body’s defense against disease thanks to both its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Ginseng has been shown to strengthen the body’s ability to fight off illness. Radix Angelica Sinensis, which is a dried root also known as Danggui, both modulates the immune system and promotes blood circulation.
5. Diet: Another way to boost the immune system is to eat more yellow foods. Consider adding items such as ginger, pumpkin, turmeric, and yams to your diet. In TCM, the color yellow is linked to the spleen, and the spleen must be functioning well to ensure a healthy immune system. Since a healthy spleen is also responsible for digestion, it is important to keep the spleen properly nourished while improving the health of the small and large intestines.
6. Improve your surroundings: If you are looking for ways to boost your immune system, consider improving the quality of the air around you. A simple way to do this is to add some indoor plants to your living space. You may also consider trying an air ionisers. Adding negative air ions may reduce or kill microorganisms while improving serotonin levels. It will even improve the life of your new house plants.
When illness strikes, it may be tempting to take a pill that simply treats the system until the illness eventually passes. However, a strong immune system will improve your body’s chance of not succumbing to an illness in the first place. There are many ways to give your immune system a boost such as participating in moderate exercise, eating a healthy diet, adding herbal supplements, and reducing your stress levels. If you are looking for ways to boost your immune system, consult with your TCM practitioner to discuss ways to boost your immune system by treating the root of the problem.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you to boost your immune system, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.