6 Weird things that I do to help my immune system
As a holistic health practitioner, I have been working with lots of people with Covid 19 in the past 2 years, helping them mitigate symptoms and recover faster, dealing with long term symptoms, and dealing with vaccine effects. As I have managed to stay pretty healthy throughout all of this, people often ask me what I am doing to protect myself, so I have begun to make a list.
I want to make it clear; I’m not suggesting that any of these things are ‘cures’ for a virus, or anything of the sort. And I am not mentioning any of the things that everyone already has heard about. I am simply offering some ideas that might be a little off the conventional track in the hopes that you find something here that could be helpful to you.
- Thymus thump: I have been starting every day with the ‘3 thumps’ technique used in specialized kinesiology and Eden Energy Medicine. This was something that I was reminded of when researching for a conference presentation in April 2020 and have been doing daily since. The idea is that you are tuning up the systems that you need to boost immunity and energy flow. In my recent interview with ultra-marathoner Timothy Olsen, he said that he does this consistently while running and training in order to keep his systems working well. See picture at the bottom of this post.
- Perennial Learning: Every morning I spend 25-30minutes practicing other languages using apps like Duolingo and Drops. How does this help immune response? Neuroepigenetics refers to epigenetic influence over the creation of new nerve cells and neural nets. It turns out that when you are actively engaged in learning, and especially when you are in a state of fascination with what you are learning, you stimulate new cell growth. Being in a state of growth is productive for psychoneuroimmunology, the idea that the immune system, emotions and nervous systems are interconnected. So is it important to learn languages? My contention is that you should learn something – whatever it is that creates a state of attention and fascination for you and let the resulting growth benefit your immune response as well.
- Taking supplements. Lots of people ask me what supplements I am taking right now. The truth is that I change my supplements up pretty regularly. As a holistic practitioner, I don’t think that any one nutrient is necessary for everyone – we all have different needs. So while you have probably read some articles about why Vit D or C or NAC is needed right now to prevent sickness, to me the important thing is to be in the habit of taking whatever supplements your body needs at the moment. You can figure this out by muscle testing yourself or by working with a practitioner. Right now, I am taking Omega 3, Holy Basil, iron w/B12 and folic, and magnesium. None of these are specifically for the immune system, rather they are about stress management which makes sense to me; it’s when I am stressed out and not dealing with it well that I get sick. If I can keep my adrenals in a state of balance, I feel much better.
- Balancing the microbiome: Your gut health is indicative of your overall heath. If your microbiome isn’t happy, it is really difficult to fend off any exogenous pathogens. I make my own kombucha (I apologize to the people that I fed my kombucha to in its early days when it was pretty terrible – I’ve got the process nailed down now and it is fizzy and delicious and a joy to drink) and ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi. It is shockingly easy and there are tons of tutorials for this online. A little of these fermented foods daily can help keep the microbiome in good shape.
- Using essential oils. Like supplements, the oils used can change depending on the needs of the moment, but EOs in general are antibacterial/antiviral/antifungal offering the body potent bursts of phytochemical compounds that can assist with the immune system’s strength in general. Using EOs has a secondary benefit; when we choose to use these as bug repellant, aromatherapy, perfume, skin care, it means that we are not using nasty chemical compounds that weaken the immune system and deplete the microbiome. On the average day, I might use lavender, tea tree or frankincense on my face, peppermint and ginger on sore muscles, lemongrass against the bugs and rosemary to clear my head just to name a few.
- Find peace within the chaos. Everywhere I look in the media I see fear and division. The world is effectively being split into camps. People tell me that they are ‘not living in fear’, but then in the next breath tell me about the thousands of hours of research they have done that prove conclusively that everyone else is wrong. Remember that the internet is designed to keep your attention and only feed you what you want to hear. If you are not actively looking for points of view different than yours and reading about it, you are not researching, you’re massaging your own ego and cognitive bias and it can become very easy to think that everyone in the world agrees with you.
Bad news can fill your body with stress hormones and put you into a fight/flight state exactly the same way that dealing with something actually threatening you can. This state is not conducive to fighting disease because your body prioritizes stresses and if it thinks you are fighting for your life, it is not all that concerned with how you might be dealing with a virus. Here we can utilize strategies like deep breathing and meditation to regain control of the autonomic nervous system and reduce stress.
These are some of the things that I am doing, how about you?
We’re all in this together,
Thanks Alexis for sharing this! Great suggestions that can all easily be done. Except the kombucha it’s never liked me so I stick to the other options
Thanks Amy! I feel like it’s important that we consider all of the options for immune support that are not directly about the immune system but are definitely part of a healthy lifestyle…