How can I Boost my Immune System?

…well, it might not be possible to actually enhance our immune system!  According to the Harvard Medical School Health Publication, “The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.” 

Our immune system has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years and, if allowed, does a great job at seeing off infection.  Unfortunately, most of us are actually living with an immune system that is not performing optimally in the first place.  Anecdotally, we do know that sub-optimal nutrition, sleep deprivation, and chronic low-level stress can predispose us to picking up, and not fighting off, various germs.

The good news is that we can do plenty to make sure it runs at it’s optimum.“Yoga is unlike other forms of exercise that focus only on certain parts of the body,” says Kathleen Fry, M.D., president of the American Holistic Medicine Association. “Yoga works on everything.”

Yoga helps lower the stress hormones that compromise the immune system, while also;

  • maintaining the lungs and respiratory tract at their optimum,
  • stimulating the lymphatic system which removes bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells from the body,
  • increasing blood supply to the various organs. Blood carries defending elements and cells as well as oxygen for optimal function.

Essentially it’s easy.  Don’t get in the body’s way by living a sedentary life, living with and accepting chronic stress, drinking too much, eating poorly, accepting lack of sleep.

Let the immune system do what it has evolved to do over millions of years.  It will serve you well if you serve it well.