Updated: May 30, 2020
Your immune system is your body's built-in natural defense system against invading microorganisms. Having a strong immune system is essential to preventing infections. Unfortunately, there are many factors which cause people to struggle with weakened immune systems and frequent infections. Now, more than ever, it is important that we keep our immune system functioning in top shape while avoiding the things that negatively impact it.
Your immune system can become compromised in a number of ways. Prolonged stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, and nutritional deficiencies can all wreak havoc on your immune system. Signs of a weak immune system include: frequent colds or infections, chronic digestive problems, high stress, slow-healing wounds, chronic fatigue, and allergies. Fortunately, there are many natural ways that you can improve your immune system and prevent illness. Read below to find out how!
Acupuncture is very effective in both regulating and strengthening the immune system. Acupuncture stimulates production of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and T-cells (the cells which target and destroy foreign invaders in the body). In general, acupuncture stimulates the body's natural ability to heal itself, treating a wide-range of symptoms and addressing the root cause. Acupuncture point ST-36 (on the lower leg) has been researched as the most powerful point to enhance immunity, and is a frequent point I use on almost all of my patients.
Get Engystol Injections
Engystol is an injectible homeopathic solution designed to support your immune system and to both prevent and treat viral infections. It is an immuno-modulating natural medication which has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce the duration and severity of symptoms during an acute viral infection and also helps to protect your body from subsequent infections. Injections may be given on a weekly basis and are safe for all ages. These homeopathic injections are safe and free from side-effects. This injection is virtually pain-less as well! Click here to schedule your injection today and stay protected!
Take Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine is not only used to treat a wide range of health conditions and treat the underlying cause, it also and prevents illness. Thousands of years ago, Chinese herbal medicine was used by the emperors of China to lengthen their life span and prevent disease. Chinese medicine is truly the original preventative medicine. Chinese herbal formulas, such as Yu Ping Feng San, are very effective in strengthening the immune system, preventing viral infections, and creating an optimal internal environment. In fact, modifications of this particular formula are being taken by a large population of residents in China to prevent COVID-19 infections and prevent the spread of the virus. With Chinese herbal medicine, formulas are customized for each individual patient to treat current symptoms and/or address the factors that may lead to future disease. Click here to schedule your Chinese herbal medicine consultation and have a formula designed for you!
Get Adequate Rest
Lack of sleep increases your chance of illness and reduces your body's ability to fight infection and recover from illness. In addition, adrenal fatigue (caused by prolonged stress, overwork and lack of sleep) is a common condition I test for and treat in my clinic, and is a major underlying root cause of a compromised immune system. To keep your immune system in top shape and prevent illness, get to sleep before 10 pm and sleep for 7-8 hours per night (or 10 hours per night for children and teenagers).
Eat a Healthy Diet
A poor diet leads to nutritional deficiencies that affect your immune system. Being deficient in zinc, vitamin D and vitamin C can definitely cause a negative impact on your immune system and make you more susceptible to disease. Processed foods and foods high in sugar have the most devastating effects on the immune system. The body does not recognized processed foods (filled with chemicals, food dyes and preservatives) and begins attacking them, leading to inflammation and autoimmune disorders. Sugar is the food that bacteria, virus, fugus and parasites thrive on. When we eat sugar, we are feeding these microorganisms and creating inflammation in the body, making it very difficult to heal.
Choose whole foods that have the least amount of ingredients, eat organic produce and animal protein, and avoid foods that are highly processed, high in sugar and high in carbohydrates. Add foods that boost your immune system and are rich in vitamins and minerals from the list below.
Foods that Boost Your Immune System:
Red bell peppers
Organic greek yogurt
Avoiding stress altogether may be near impossible; however, there are many ways it can be managed. Prolonged stress raises cortisol levels and eventually leads to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue oftentimes causes immune deficiencies or autoimmune disorders and the subsequent development of food allergies, seasonal allergies, and frequent colds and infections. Manage your stress, lower your cortisol and boost your immune system by: meditating, doing gentle yoga, exercising daily, engaging in deep breathing, journaling your thoughts, and making time for stress-relieving hobbies or activities (i.e. painting, drawing, singing, hiking, gardening).
Take Natural Supplements
My favorite supplements for supporting your immune system are vitamin D3 and immune-boosting mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, chaga, maiitake). Zinc and vitamin C are also essential to having a strong immune system. Have your vitamin D levels checked at least once per year to be sure you are not deficient, as low levels of vitamin D are linked to several diseases including autoimmune disease and cancer. To order these natural supplements, click here.