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5 Holistic Self-Care Ideas for Boosting Your Immunity

The immune system is the natural defender of the body. It repels disease-causing organisms.

A naturopathic way of looking at the body and immunity is to think of germs as the cleansing agents that enable us to recover from toxins that enter the body. The presence of germs in our bodies stimulates fever and increases the cleansing function of the immune system. When this is completed, they then become part of our cells, keeping us in optimum health.

Part of this process of building immunity is the inflammation process. This is our body's response to any damage to our cells and tissues by isolating the affected area and drawing immune cells and chemicals from all over to heal it. This is part of our first line of defense against disease, our blood vessels dilate to allow more blood flow to the area, white blood cells full of nutrients travel through the bloodstream and enter the damaged tissue cells. resulting in inflammation. Once this healing process has done its job, the inflammation should reduce.

However, sometimes inflammation lingers, causing our bodies to be in a chronic state of inflammatory response. Lifestyle factors can affect this such as poor diet choices, lack of movement in the body, autoimmune diseases, and several other health conditions.

But the good news is there are plenty of things we can do to help encourage a good anti-inflammatory response in our bodies.

1. Avoid substances that reduce the functioning of your immune system. Sounds simple but sugar, processed food, smoking, drinking, alcohol, stress, and excessive exercise, are just some of the everyday habits that can be detrimental to our immunity.

2. Stress - hormone responses happen when we are stressed that suppress our immune system. Try incorporating stress-reducing activities into your daily routine. 10-minute guided meditation, yoga, a quick walk with your dog!

3. Laugh and cultivate kindness. Laughing, caring, and kindness promotes a healthy response by increasing the immunoglobulins that help protect our immune system.

4. Eat for your health - rich nutrient-dense foods full of antioxidants such as dark leafy greens, berries, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds, fermented foods, and protein, feed our bodies with essential good bacteria, and give our bodies the optimum chance to fight away the bad bacteria.

5. Exercise - it is scientifically proven that exercise boosts our immune system, if you’re new to exercise try starting with 5-10 minutes of an exercise you enjoy. Increase this to 30 minutes as time moves on and you’ll reap the benefits not only from all the feel-good endorphins your body will produce but from sweating out all those toxins - yoga and Pilates help to stimulate our circulation and increase lymphatic drainage, both of which benefit our immunity.

Loving Kindness Meditation - From Deeply Holistic, A Guide to Intuitive Self-Care– Pip Walker

Sit with your back in a comfortable position, begin with heart-centered breathing to center yourself. Think of someone who makes you feel love, your pet, child, partner, friend. Something that generates a loving-kindness feeling. Repeat to yourself silently, “may all be well and happy, may I be filled with peace and a feeling of security, may I feel loved and cared for, may I feel strong, safe, and secure”.

Notice your breath, bring attention to your body, slowly open your eyes.

This may be difficult at first but do not be harsh on yourself. It is not easy for everyone to generate these feelings towards themselves. Practice for yourself as much as you need.

written by Meg Williams-Lucy (Holistic Health Coach living the life in LA)

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