Modern living and the rampant war on germs, bugs, bacteria and viruses has severed the relationship with our terrain and mother earth, a relationship crucial to be able to thrive. We didn’t evolve in isolation and to be healthy we must live in harmony with our environment.
Reductionist focus on germs has led to a lot of misinformation about what we need to keep our immune systems strong and the incessant disinfecting, over-medicating and lack of nourishment is leading to a significant disruptions in our health often leaving us isolated and unwell.
Fortunately, our world can hold us and can heal us. There is a oneness reflected within our biology, where our internal terrain mirrors the terrain of the world around us. It's time to tend to all of it.
So how do we tend to the foundations of a healthy immune system?
- SLEEP: Getting enough sleep ensures that our bodies are able to repair and sustain the immune function they need for us to stay healthy. A lack of sleep has been associated with a decrease in the T cells needed to communicate bacterial and viral infections. Try for a minimum of 7-8 hours a night.
- DIET: Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables gives us the phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber needed to stay healthy and keeps our immune system and gut microbiome strong. Remember, 1 tsp of sugar reduces your immune function for 6 hours.
- WATER: Staying hydrated allows our mucous membranes to stay moist and to filter more effectively as well as keeping our cells powered up. Aim for ½ your body weight in ounces of water daily.
- RELAXATION/JOY: Getting enough rest or downtime allows us to manage the stresses of our hectic modern life without it depressing our immune system. Our thoughts and perceptions impact our immune system and has shown to impact our ability to respond to infections.
- MOVEMENT: Exercise also keeps our immune system and gut microbiome resilient. Research from 2020 shows exercise changes the antibodies and white blood cells circulate more rapidly, detecting illnesses earlier than they might have when sedentary.
- LOVE: Love allows the whole system to run smoothly without the danger signals of fear, isolation and shame. Practice self-love.