Immune health is essentially equal to the true health of the human body. Inflammation is an integral part of the immune system to help maintain that health. When there is a violation of the human body’s environment, for example, a toxin, invading organism, or an upset fear, a defense system is present to preserve and protect the person’s life.
Inflammation and The Immune System
An immediate response by a first, second, and possibly a third line of reactive cell pathways enters a scene where there is need. For instance, noxious or toxic gas or fumigant will cause a quick sneeze, cough, and flee from a danger that may cause injury or death. Another common example is a bee sting that sends an immediate signal to the immune system to halt the harmful irritant from causing further damage inflicted by the insect.
Fear is another significant threatening stress to the body that will trigger an inflammatory response that will lead to “fight or flight.” If short-lived and resolved, fear need not cause significant insult to the body. All defenses will restore to a “peaceful” state of balance. However, if prolonged, fear can be one of the most challenging reactions to the immune system. Chronic fear of threat in any form will lead to chronic illness. Thus, we have both acute and chronic inflammatory response capabilities that are always with us.
Any problem with wellness reflects the core strength of the immune defense system. Thanks to a magnificent arrangement in the creation process, the human body is born naturally ready and generally able to cope with its environment very well. With the passage of time and growth of the individual, much will be experienced and chosen that will enhance (or weaken) the immune system.
The immune system is “on guard” to protect against infections and prevent virtually every disease. However, a constant violation of stressor(s) on the mind/body/spirit environment can weaken and mar the protective effects of the immune system. When we speak of infections, cancer, autoimmune, neurological, pulmonary, cardiovascular, or virtually any metabolic illness, it is the immune system’s inflammatory response that has been called into play chronically. This breakdown is essentially a fundamental loss of balance in the internal energies of the cells that make up every organ and tissue in the body.
Importance of The Immune System
When we talk about immunity, we refer to the body’s defense system against innumerable invaders from all aspects of life. Fortunately, if a person with the capacity to make conscious decisions follows a balanced and orderly lifestyle taking proper care of one’s environment of mind, body, spirit, the likelihood of sustained healthy defense mechanisms and disease prevention is strong. But, on the other hand, to the unsuspecting and unprepared, i.e., a young child or mentally challenged person, a serious infection, illness, or disease can manifest and devastate the individual unless addressed by a caretaker.
So, for a bit on fundamentals, the immune system is comprised of organs such as the thymus gland, tonsils, spleen, bone marrow, and lymphatic system. Every person is born with innate immunity or that which is ready for the immediate emergence into world entry from the mother’s womb. Invaders recognized by the innate system are engulfed by cells called phagocytes to defend a newborn life. These active cells are found on all the skin, the corneas of the eyes, and mucous membranes of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary tracts.
Every person is born with innate immunity or that which is ready for the immediate emergence into world entry from the mother’s womb.
As one grows, another aspect of immunity evolves with the help of the innate system to adapt to more and more exposures for further protection. This is called the acquired immune system. The latter is one with special proteins called antibodies that form from B-lymphocytes that are derived from bone marrow and “T cells” from the thymus gland, hence “B” and “T” designations. The remarkable aspect of this system is that the cells develop a memory for the invader organisms, i.e., viruses, and recognize them so that immunity develops. This is called natural immunity, and for most humans, it is the best way we can defend ourselves against natural organisms.
If acute inflammation from an injury or set of circumstances is not resolved by natural or other interventions and becomes prolonged, we have chronic inflammation. This involves many additional immune cells that seek to contain or destroy the insulting agent. This can lead to more tissue damage with a secondary repair that includes hardened tissue called fibrosis or granulomatosis. Depending on the mental/emotional conditions present, a condition may become malignant. At that point, the immune defenses have been hit very hard, and the resolution of this disease will require the person to make significant life improvements.
Prevention of Immune Disturbances
Prevention of immune disturbances and deficiencies, or what we call in medical terms: dysregulation, involves making the best choices possible for the healthiest environment in which we can live and sustain. The goal is to ensure quick resolution of any insult and protect our immune system. Below are key ways and means to prevent or deter chronic inflammation that leads to immune compromise.
For strong immunity and healthy inflammation:
- Reduce and remove all negative stress from your life as soon as possible
- Breathe in 3-4 seconds and out 9-12 seconds often for de-stressing and adding years to your life
- Cook and eat whole-food, plant-based, organic, non-genetically modified, non-chemical laden foods calmy, peacefully and with gratitude; avoid farm-raised or synthetic fish; limit or avoid most meat/poultry/dairy
- Avoid simple sugars, refined carbs like baked desserts, candies, sodas
- Avoid trans fats, oils like soybean, corn, safflower and palm; use olive, macadamia, coconut and avocado in small amounts if desired
- Use only natural products (check labels and know the companies if not home-made or grown) on and in body for personal care
- Use natural fibers and cleaning agents for home and garden or any place you dwell often in your daily life
- Exercise daily- anyway you can- to increase your muscle movements over the entire body for at least 30 minutes, preferably outdoors in sun; indoor exercise should have proper provisions with well-ventilated area, no strong radiation from wi-fi, good foot comfort and clean water to hydrate
- Sleep for growth and repair; seven hours is goal
- Minimize all artificial chemicals including drugs
- Add whole-food supplements that provide immune-enhancing ingredients including quercetin, EGCG, resveratrol, minerals, vitamin A, B, C and D
My friends, today is the day for recognizing and respecting how your immune system functions and how keeping the inflammatory cell responses in good order will make all the difference in your health.
For further consultation on this topic or an appointment with Dr. Maria to help you reach your goals in better health, see us at Integrative Healing at OM.