20 Tips to Improve your Immunity Naturally
- Reduce your work/life stresses – learn to live within your means energetically. You know you should say “no” to requests when you smile and say “yes”. We humans are such people pleasers – we want to avoid conflict at all costs! Look out for people/situations/places that drain your energy and make you feel heavy. Move toward people/situations/places that energise you, make you feel lighter or are at least neutral to you. When your energy is being drained, so is your immunity being compromised.
- Make time for regular exercise to keep energy moving and also “do-nothing time” additional to night time sleep, for repair and rejuvenation. Doing regular exercise that is light to moderate energises us and helps our immune system. Sometimes when we get so inactive we can feel so tired and not feel like exercising or moving too much – but when we do we feel much better. When blood and energy stagnates we can feel very exhausted and low in mood. Excessive exercise in tandem with a hectic lifestyle over time can seriously deplete your energy. Get out into the great outdoors regularly and absorb all those lovely negative ions!
- Allowing your body to rest and digest overnight; by leaving a 12 hour no-eating time say from 7pm at night to 7am in the morning lets your body rest and repair overnight. You can look into Intermittent Fasting which takes this a bit further by fasting say after dinner to lunchtime the next day and keeping to around 500-600 calories. This has amazing health benefits especially for those who need to lose some weight.
- Supplement with a good quality multi-vitamin, probiotic and Omega 3 oils for basic supplementation. I have been enjoying Ben Warrens’ Be Pure range of products, which are practitioner-only quality, available to the general public. Our New Zealand soils are deficient in many minerals and nutrients, which is why we need to supplement daily.
- Allergies…some people have allergies and sensitivities to certain foods some of which can be life threatening, others may be just gradually causing increasing inflammation in your body, reducing your energy and over time contributing towards the development of chronic disease. Everyday foods may be reducing your immunity. Work with a Naturopath or Functional Medicine practitioner to help you with this.
- Test your zinc levels – you can call in to your local pharmacy to get a zinc taste test. Having optimal zinc levels is essential for your immunity
- Supplement your Vitamin D3 levels especially during winter. Vitamin D3 is essential for immunity, bone health and many body processes. Most people are deficient as they are not getting out in the sun so much, or if they do they are covered up with clothes or sunscreen. Getting sun exposure until the skin is slightly pink, not burnt, is healthy. But go according to your skin type and be sensible. Getting Vitamin D3 from the sun is the best, cheapest plus makes us feel well and happy!
- Avoid processed foods; anything white/yellow is usually refined. Go for whole foods, and increase fruit and veggie intake especially dark leafy greens. Adding healthy oils to your food such as olive, coconut and avocado really helps you feel satisfied for longer and is so good for you! Eat warming cooked foods such as soups and casseroles and avoid cold, chilled and frozen food/drinks. Remember the lemon, honey and garlic with a pinch of cayenne in a cup of boiling water if you are feeling under the weather – and rest!
- Start the day with a glass or two of warm water and lemon juice, and have a glass of water with apple cider vinegar 30mins before meals to aid digestion.
- Eat plenty of fermented probiotic foods such as miso, tempeh, apple cider vinegar (with mother culture included) and cultured vegetables. These support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract and enhance immunity. Your immunity is totally reliant on the health of your gut. If you have digestive issues, your immunity is likely to be compromised.
- Practice deep abdominal breathing. Place one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Breathe in and expand the belly and lower ribs, while keeping the chest still, breathe out and let go of the belly. It takes a bit of practice as it is not the way we normally breathe. It’s good to do in bed before sleep. Abdominal breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system – the rest and digest nervous system, which helps normal body processes to work normally.
- Acknowledge and work on emotional issues – there are many fantastic modalities for this such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Hypnotherapy, The Work by Byron Katie, The Lightning Process.
- Wear enough clothes for the conditions and wear a warm scarf on cool, windy days to avoid catching colds/flus, and don’t go outside in the cold with wet hair. Your mother was right!
- Keep your feet warm – cold can make its way into the body through the Kidney, Spleen and Liver channels via the feet and slow down the metabolism and cause menstrual and fertility problems.
- Sleep is so important for everything! Make sure you get enough and if you aren’t – get to a natural health practitioner to help with this. Take this very seriously! Check out Tracey Lindsay’ s blog.
- If you are a woman, take care of yourself around period time. Our immunity is naturally lower at this time so we need more rest and less stress. Quite often women will get sick around period time if they haven’t been able to slow down and take care. Listen to your body! Check out Belinda’s blog about having healthier periods.
- Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine is fantastic for enhancing your immune system. Monthly tune-up acupuncture sessions can be really beneficial. More regular sessions would be needed to target other pre-existing health conditions.
- Practice Qigong, Taiji or yoga to increase energy and wellbeing, and look out for Mindfulness Meditation classes to reduce stress levels.
- Find a qualified Acupuncturist, Naturopath or Functional Medicine specialist to help you on your health journey.
- Treat yourself to some regular nourishing self-care treatments such as massage, acupuncture or craniosacral therapy, or make time for creative and fun activities outside of work that engage your right brain hemisphere.
Belinda Falconar, BHSc (Acupuncture)
Aroha Acupuncture – Owner