So what can you do to maintain a healthy immune system?
Support your microbiome: Remember from last months blog 80% of your immune system is in your gut helps support in creating a more diverse microbiome which is essential for our health. Include some fermented foods too.
Take a Vitamin supplement: Vitamin D is important to help the immune system and we get Vitamin D from the sun. However during the months from October to April we can not absorb enough vitamin D from the sun. The NHS recommend taking a supplement of 10micrograms or 400iu per day. Vitamin B vitamins, Vitamin C and Zinc are also helpful if you have a virus.
Take moderate exercise: When we exercise and increase the blood flow in our body we also increase the flow of immune cells around our body making it more effective at fights off infection. If you can get outside to exercise you expose yourself to daylight which increases your opportunity to absorb vitamin D. This also reduces stress and it helps regulate the circadian rhythm.
Get enough sleep: Getting over 8 hours of sleep per night helps the immune system to latch onto bacteria so they can fight infection quicker. If you get less than 7 hours sleep per night studies show you are three times more likely to get a cold that those that get over 8 hours sleep per night.
Reduce your stress: A little bit of stress increases the response of the immune system and in the short term this primes the immune system to respond to any threat from infection. However if we are exposed to too much stress the immune system becomes over active and put the too aggressive which leads to damage of healthy cells.
Reduce your consumption of alcohol: Research has found that drinking alcohol (especially binge drinking) suppresses immune cells by 20 to 30%, meaning you are more susceptible to infection.
Positive touch: Positive touch such as a massage has been shown to increase the number of immune cells in the blood. So get someone to massage you or have Craniosacral Therapy.
If the body has stress or restrictions this can affect how effectively the Immune System is able to function. During a craniosacral therapy session we can help to reduce stress, and calm the central nervous system, which allows the immune system to be primed to look out for pathogens (for example bacteria and viruses). During a treatment in the same way as restrictions are released around your spine, you can also get restrictions around an organ and this can impact how the immune organ functions. Sometimes the immune system can become over active or a bit confused and this can lead to cancer or autoimmune conditions so it is really important for it to be in balance.