Your immune system is amazing. It performs surveillance constantly, looking for intruders that could harm your health, while also maintaining a set of barriers to keep intruders out and racing to the first response in case of a breach.
Adam Learner and the team at Family Acupuncture and Wellness understand that a healthy immune system is your best defense against illness. However, if you have low immunity — if you seem to catch every cold and virus that comes your way — you may need some help in building up your system. Functional medicine is the key.
You may be wondering how to know if you have low immunity. There are some signs to look for, including:
Each of those symptoms could be caused by other underlying conditions, as well. It’s important to speak with a qualified practitioner of functional medicine to understand whether or not you have low immunity.
The good news here is that functional medicine can help you improve your immune system’s ability to respond. Functional medicine focuses on your whole body, which means instead of treating your fatigue or digestive symptoms, we consider your health overall and how your systems are connected and interact.
This means your care is very specific to you. The following methods of improving your immune system are general. To get advice within the context of your health and life, schedule an appointment with us!
In the meantime, the following suggestions are good for improving your overall health.
A diet that is rich in nutrients and provides your body with what it needs to mount an effective defense is the first step in boosting your immunity. Aim to consume a colorful variety of vegetables and fruits — at least five servings per day — along with lean protein and healthy fats.
A nutritious diet is the foundation of good health. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, provides the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function well, and helps your brain work efficiently.
Chronic stress impacts your health in a myriad of ways, including hampering your immune system’s ability to respond effectively. However, lowering stress levels can be a complicated problem.
For example, if you’re a parent and a full-time worker, and you help take care of your elderly parents, and you’re active in your community, it may seem impossible to lower your stress levels. Each of those areas of your life carries a certain amount of stress. What should you do?
First, keep in mind that de-stressing is vital to your health, and your good health is necessary for you to continue to handle all of your obligations. Other options include spending some time meditating, learning tai chi or yoga, scheduling relaxation, exercise, massage therapy, or acupuncture. Your personal preferences along with your schedule and physical needs all contribute to how you can lower stress.
Does it seem like all medical advice includes the word “exercise?” That’s because exercise is excellent for your health!
You don’t need to train like an Olympian — that could, in fact, depress your immune system — but you should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Exercise decreases inflammation, boosts your mood, and ramps up your body’s immune response. Plus, if you find an activity you enjoy, it’s fun.
Sleep is vital to good health, and that includes your immune system. Scientists don’t fully understand the link between sleep and immune health; however, the fact that there is indeed a link is clear. Better sleep means a healthier immune response.
Practicing excellent sleep hygiene is one way you can improve the quality of your rest. Only use your bedroom for sex or sleep. Turn the lights down lower an hour or so before bedtime. Restrict use of screens for a couple of hours prior to sleeping. Keep your bedroom cool.
If you’d like to learn more about how functional medicine can work to help you boost your immune system, book an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness today. Your body and your life are unique, and our treatment suggestions are designed to fit your specific situation. New patients can request an appointment online, or can call us at 603-556-8908.