Hello and welcome back!
We are still in the grip of the Covid 19 pandemic and most of us realised that it has been an opportunity to get fitter and healthier. In addition to the preventive measures suggested by the authorities and medical experts, it is very important to take steps to maintain a good immune system.
- Quit smoking.
- Eat healthily. Foods have a great healing power. Eat a diet high in antioxidants. Fruit and vegetables are loaded with them.
- Drink adequate amounts of water daily.
- Regular bowel movements.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Try to include immune system strengthening vitamins and herbs in your daily regime.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours).
- Maintain a healthy, happy and positive attitude towards life.
In this issue I would like to have a closer look at stress and explain how it weakens your immune system.
Whilst stress alone cannot make us catch a cold or flu virus, it weakens the immune system’s ability to respond to invasion, leaving us more vulnerable to infection. Recovery is liable to be slower as the immune system is suppressed while it deals with stress.
The body’s stress-response system should be self-limiting. Once the perceived threat has passed, adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, the heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular levels of activity.
However, when stressors and ‘feeling under attack’ remain constant, the fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on, over-exposing the body to cortisol and other stress hormones. The cells of the immune system (and other body systems) are unable to respond normally and produce levels of inflammation which increase the risk of further health issues.
Stress can also have an indirect effect on the immune system as we tend to resort to unhealthy coping strategies, such as smoking or drinking too much caffeine and alcohol, eating too much sugar and processed foods, not sleeping properly and giving up on exercise and healthy social activities.
A study has shown how long-term stress greatly affects the immune system, increasing the risk of catching a cold. Scientists in the U.S. questioned 176 men and women about difficult experiences they had been through in the past 12 months. Drops of the common cold virus were then dripped into their nose and scientists checked if they caught the germ. Those who had been under stress were twice as likely to develop a cold. A second experiment confirmed that the inflammatory response feeds off stress.
Almost all my clients report some form of stress. In most cases stress level is greatly reduced after six to eight sessions and in some children, mums report a more relaxed baby after only one session. For examples please see the testimonials on my website.
In the August edition of Bay I shall look at sleep, how it affects the immune system and how NAET can play a positive role.
Claudia of the Gower Allergy Clinic introduces the Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique
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