Updated: May 8, 2020
Today I want to give my top 5 tips on supporting your immune system .
In Chinese Medicine, your immune system is governed by your lungs and your large intestine, which are two organs that are paired together and they're responsible for your defensive Qi. Your defensive Qi or Wei Qi helps keep all pathogens, not just respiratory pathogens from your body. So anything that you can do that is going to support your lungs and support your Large Intestine in general is going to support your immune system.
Specifically , from a food point of view, reduce your sugar and your alcohol intake. Not easy at the minute when we are all comfort eating, myself included, but both of those have been shown to have a detrimental effect on your immune system. So we want to be trying to eat as healthy as possible, getting as much fruit and veg as we can, really trying to get those vitamins and minerals into us, especially vitamin C and zinc, both very beneficial for the immune system. From a Chinese medicine point of view, fruits such as pear, apple and grape, are really beneficial for lung health. So lots of those if you can. Ideally poach your fruit or at eat at room temperature. Eating food straight from the fridge or in cold smoothies is not recommended in Chinese Medicine for most people as it damages your Stomach qi.
The next thing is sleep. Really important to support your immune system in Chinese medicine. Lack of sleep reduces your yin energy and your yin energy is really important to support healthy lung function. Lots of studies in Western medicine as well on how sleep can impact your immune system. I just read some research this week where it showed that people who only have five hour sleep and then were subjected to the common cold virus had a 50% chance of catching it versus an 18% chance if they had seven more sleep. So sleep is really important for your immune system.
Stress. Everybody's under pressure at the minute, I know it's not easy, but whatever you can do to help manage your stress levels, is was really going to help your immunity because stress really can have a detrimental effect on your immune system. So yoga, meditation, mindfulness, exercise, whatever you can do to try and help reduce those stress levels and turn off those stress hormones is really going to help your immune system.
Breathing. Especially when we are stressed, we have a tendency to breathe just up in the top part of our chest. That shallow kind of breathing. So what you want to do is, find some fresh air. Even if it's only opening a window or standing at your back door if you can't actually go outside and try and do some deep breathing right into the bottom of your lungs and get that lovely fresh air down into the bottom of your lungs. Get that lung Qi flowing.
Finally, probiotics are vital. As I said, the lungs and the large intestine always been linked in Chinese medicine and always been said to be important for your immune system. And Western medicine realizes that now. So good gut health really, really does impact your immune system. So a good probiotic, is really going to help you fight off any kind of invasion of pathogens in your body.
As well as the above there are some acupressure points that you can use every day to help support your immune system. Check out my IGTV video "Acupressure for Immunity" on Instagram @bewellacupunctureclinic on how to do this simple, yet powerful acupressure practice.
Hope that was useful. Please feel free to share and stay safe and stay healthy.