Immunity, how well our immune system functions, comes to the top of many of our minds this time of year. The grocery stores and drug stores begin to prominently displaying Cold-FX, echinacea or other such tinctures to fight off the dreaded flu. However, the best measure against colds and flu is a properly functioning immune system. Your overall level of immunity is important not only at cold and flu season but throughout the year. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease and other such chronic diseases are all related to immune function.
It was about 3 weeks into back-to-school when I noticed the sniffles starting with my kids. Although it is natural for our bodies to have times of illness (colds and flu particularly), there is never a convenient time. As a family, we had been implementing various strategies throughout the year to support our immunity.
These are the 5 key measures that we implemented to ensure our immune systems are in ‘fighting form’:
Specific chiropractic adjustments have been shown, in numerous studies, to have a positive effect on immune function. Chiropractors deal directly with the nervous system. The nervous system is the control system of the body, it is directly linked to the body’s overall immune response. Regular chiropractic check-ups are essential for optimal immunity.
I have read dozens of articles about the importance of sleep. My typical response was “yeah, yeah, I need more sleep’. Being a mom of 4, sleep has often been somewhat elusive. It wasn’t until I started really digging in about the importance of sleep that I fully understood the implication of loss of sleep. Sleep is our body’s ‘clean-up’ time. While we sleep, our bodies are busy clearing toxins from our brain and body. An essential part of the immune process is being able to clear the ‘nasties’ from our body. Lack of sleep is directly related to reduced immune response.
It is impossible to stress enough the importance of gut health. A simple google search of gut dysbiosis (an improperly functioning gut), will quickly illustrate the links our gut health has to all chronic disease and our overall wellness. Probiotics are often touted at the best way to increase gut function. Although probiotics are important, your overall diet is the best way to increase gut function. 90% of the immune system is in the gut. Our standard North American diet contributes directly to reduced gut function, therefore reducing our immunity. When using probiotics as a support for gut function, it is incredibly important to know that there is no one-size-fits all approach to probiotics. I perform specialized tests with my patients to ensure they are getting the right probiotic for their body’s needs.
Everytime we sweat we help our bodies detoxify. Detoxification is a critical element of immunity. Additionally, exercise has also been shown to increase our body’s immune function. Finally, exercise make us feel better. An increased mood is also, you guessed it, an immune booster.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
When we study immunity, the big picture is all about how well our immune cells are functioning. We need a strong gut so we get the right nutrients to the cells to support them. Omega fatty acids are one of those nutrients. Our cells are made, in part, by fatty acids. Having the improper balance of fatty acids or not enough fatty acids (specifically Omega-3 fatty acids) leads to reduced cellular function. In my practice, we can assess specifically, for each individual, the overall fatty acid concentrations in their body and how their body is processing those fatty acids.
Guess what? Those sniffles my kids had never become anything more serious. By implementing these 5 steps our immune systems were in fighting form.
A well functioning immune system, throughout the year, is essential to health and wellbeing. These steps are certainly not exhaustive, however it is a great starting point. It should be stressed again that regular chiropractic check-ups are incredibly important to ensure a properly functioning nervous, and therefore immune, system. Additionally, within my practice I work with my patients to determine where their body needs more support. Patient-specific tests are also utilized to help determine such areas as gut function, fatty acid levels and immune function. We then create a individualized health plan to help each individual patient achieve their highest level of health.
Book your complimentary meet and greet today. Let’s dig in and determine how you can achieve your highest level of health…EVER.