How to get some spring in your immune system.
Calling in a sicky.
It’s definitely not a lovely feeling to have your bedroom floor covered in soggy wet tissues.
Unfortunately for a lot of people – this is the reality when winter hits.
Why is it that some people suffer through the chilly season, and others don’t? What can we do to help prepare our bodies for the cooler weather?
This answer is two-fold. It’s important for us to consider your internal AND external environments.
Firstly – let’s have a look at the internal environment of your AH-MAZING body.
Throughout our body, we house an incredible and complex collection of cells, tissues and glands that together, make up the immune system. This system extends to all parts of our body, including our brain (https://spinalresearch.com.au/new-scientific-discovery-brain-immune-cells/) (https://spinalresearch.com.au/depression-theory-faces-scrutiny-immune-system-issue/).
Until recent years, it was thought that immune cells did not belong in a healthy brain. Now we know otherwise.
Why is this important?
Well, there needs to be lymphatic drainage from all parts of the body, including the brain. When your body is subluxated (when there is an interference in the nerve system), this can impact on the efficiency of the drainage. Leading to a clog in the plumbing!
Furthermore, it has been suggested that when the immune system is in overdrive, it can cause an increase in inflammation through the body. This inflamed state can decrease the number of neurons (nerve cells) in our brains and affect the way they communicate, leading to depression (https://spinalresearch.com.au/depression-theory-faces-scrutiny-immune-system-issue/). In fact, high levels of inflammation in the brain has been seen repeatedly in people with depression.
Speaking of nerve cells and subluxations:
“Neural dysfunctions due to spinal misalignments are stressful to the body and cause abnormal changes that lead to a poorly coordinated immune response. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost the coordinated responses of the nervous system and immune system”
So be sure to keep your chiro appointments when you are under the weather!
Also – bring your constant nose blowing friend, so that they too can start improving. Assure them we have tissues AND bins!
Coming up next in the internal environment of our body… SUSTENANCE. Food. Drink. Supplements.
You are what you eat. By choosing clean and fresh foods that work well with your specific body – you are giving yourself the building blocks to a better functioning immune system. A few notes to make when caring for your immune system (particularly when experiencing allergies).
- Foods high in EPA and DHA to reduce inflammation (Fish oils are great sources of this)
- Green and white tea (high in flavonoids to reduce inflammation)
- Vitamin C (natural antihistamine)
- Local Raw Honey
- Garlic, Onion, Ginger
- Eliminate alcohol and other histamine containing foods (wine is the worst culprit)
- Consider avoiding aged and fermented foods (cheese, pickles and sauerkraut)
- Yeast based foods (Breads)
If you’d love some specific guidance on what items would support your unique body the best – please let us know and we’d be happy to point you in the direction of somebody who specialises in this area (eg. Dietician, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Homeopath etc).
Ok, now for your external environment.
An obvious yet important note – decrease your stress!
When our body is in a state of stress, we become in an inflamed state. We have already read why this can be bad (above) (https://spinalresearch.com.au/depression-theory-faces-scrutiny-immune-system-issue/). However, when we are stressed it also can lead to abnormal neurological feedback in the body. That is, an interruption in the connection between the brain and body.
So. Decrease your stress. Some stressors are inevitable, so be sure to also increase your body’s ability to deal with this stress. Hello chiropractor.
Idea’s to help decrease stress:
- Increase amount and quality of sleep
- Increase movement
- Schedule day and week effectively
- Learn to say “No”
- Make time to do the things that bring you joy
Many people ask – can being cold actually increase your chances of getting a cold? Does “catch a cold” have any merit?
Well – it actually so happens that Rhinovirus (one of the common causes of the common cold) thrives in colder temperatures. It actually multiplies and propagates. Furthermore – when we are colder, our immune response is reduced! https://spinalresearch.com.au/can-catch-cold-cold/
So staying warm is in fact, an important part of protecting your lovely immune system during the winter and spring. Yay for gorgeous coats and scarves!
Ok. To recap:
- Make an appointment with your chiro.
- Put good stuff into your body and keep the bad stuff out.
- Minimise stress.
- Stay warm.
- Say hello to spring
There you have it folks, take on board the above info and say NO to soggy tissues.
Yours in spring immunity,