How does the Immune System work?
The Immune system is a complex balancing act. The body is constantly reacting to changes in the internal and external environment, constantly morphing and adapting to maintain optimal health. Boosting the immune system is simple using natural methods and also extremely effective. Prolonged disease is an effect of the immune system either being interrupted by external forces (which can make the situation worse) or will not switch off (due to stress, digestive weakness, lack of bacteria, lack of key nutrients like fats and so on).
The body has several inbuilt innate responses primarily designed to keep the body safe and alive. The Fight or Flight mode is paired with the Rest and Recovery mode exactly for this. When there is a perceived threat to the body, the fight and flight mode is switched on to divert all resources to the muscles to do what they have to do. All other healing, nourishing, developing jobs are switched off for the time being to best use energy resources to do what is necessary- fight or flight (run like the wind). Rest and recovery takes over when the situation is safe and all the healing and repairing and growing can then take place again.
However in today’s society what we do not appreciate is that the brain does not distinguish between actual threat and subconscious threat. For example driving in your car- even without traffic and road rage is actually quite stressful for the subconscious- you are in a tin can travelling at speed with things also travelling at speed around you. This is perceived by the subconscious mind even if the conscious mind is singing along to the radio. This is also true of public transport- living in a block of flats above ground level, air travel, being in close proximity to strangers either in a shopping mall or even just walking along the street.
What we also choose to ignore is the way we speak to ourselves also gives signals to the brain about perceived threat-
These examples will promote a fight or flight response. So on an emotional level ensuring that you take some time in your day to feel safe, to feel calm and free from obligation, to really focus our minds of restoring blood flow and repairing the body through visualisation or focus on breath is such a simple way to bring back the rest and recover mode. This is the first and most important thing we need to do for optimal health and our immune system.
Rest and Recovery is the only time the immune system can kick in and do some very necessary repair work. It is why we always get sick after a long period of stress or when on holiday. Being sick (inflammation, heat, pain and swelling) is the body’s method of healing. When we are on holiday we have time to rest and do the big work we have been putting off. It is not an ideal situation and is always considered such a pain but really by promoting these functions in the body we can speed up the healing process rather than suppressing it to enjoy yourself on holiday or to just get through the holiday. Consider that by making small changes in your daily life can make a holiday more enjoyable as there is not as much healing the body needs to do as you have taken the time each day to catch up with any healing that needs to be done.
Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and suppressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health
Read my book Culture Your Life about Kefir and Kombucha. It includes recipes for food, drinks, cosmetics and household cleaners that can really boost and change your body for longer than a probiotic powder.
See here also for my fermenting Inspiration Pinterest Board;