5 Steps to Strengthen Your Immune System

Strengthen Your Immune System

Eat Like Your Life Depends On It!

Malnutrition impairs immune function. Burgers, Fries and Bourbon do not build a strong immune system or healthy white blood cells either. Nope, sorry, it’s through virtuous, self-righteous diets jammed packed with nutrients that promote and support a healthy immune system. This means eating foods like organic fruits and vegetables, lean healthy proteins, healthy fats and nuts and seeds are the cornerstones for good immune function. Using Medicinal Mushrooms such as shiitake ,maitake and reishi can boost immune function because they contain beta-glucans that enhance immune activity against infections and cancer as well as reduce allergy responses.

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As for foods to avoid, research shows us that simple sugars in the form of surgery foods and juices impair immune function. Of course the data suggests that gluten donating foods are especially destructive to the immune system.

At Integrative Acupuncture we specialize in Nutritional Protocols to Optimize Immune Function. Call us to schedule your Nutritional Consultation.

Reduce Stress Level

When we are stressed out, our poor adrenal glands churn out epinephrine and cortisol. When we are running from a Grizzly Bear this is a very helpful response, but most of us are stressed out and activating our adrenal output on an hourly and daily basis. Long term activation of the stress response depletes our immune system. Research shows us clearly that psychological stress raises the risk for common colds and other viruses. We are 30% more likely to get the “flu” when we are under stress. Chronic stress can also promote a ” hyper-immune response” and aggravate underlying conditions such as allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease.

One of the things that we focus on at Integrative Acupuncture is finding opportunities and tools to help our patients reduce unwanted stress. Check out our Acupuncture Happy Hour, Meditation Workshops and our Hypnotherapy services.

There have been many studies that have shown that acupuncture induces the relaxation response in patients for up to 48 hrs after a treatment. And regular acupuncture helps to decrease the negative side effects of stress in our daily lives.

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Move Your Body

Moderate exercise has been shown to enhance the immune system as well as discharge stress and tension. In a recent study, researchers took 115 postmenopausal women and assigned half of them to stretching exercises 1 time per week and the other half to at least 45 min of moderate-intensity exercise 5 times per week. At the end of the year long study, the “stretchers” had 4 times more colds as the moderate exercisers . So find a moderate exercise program that works well for you. There are many different ways to address this and we can guide you in your search for the right program for you.

Sleep Soundly Every Night

Sleep is the time when growth promoting and repairative hormones undo the damage done in our busy hectic daily lives. Sleep deprivation, as well as sleep disturbance activates the stress response , depresses our immune function and elevates inflammatory chemicals being made in our body.

In one study, after researchers inoculated adult volunteers noses with cold viruses, men and women who habitually slept less than 7 hours were 4 times more likely to develop colds than those who slept 8 hours or more.

If you or someone you know is not getting sufficient healthy restful sleep consider acupuncture to help alleviate this issue. Acupuncture has been shown to improve both the length of time we sleep as well as improve the overall quality of our sleep.

Expose Yourself !

If you cannot get enough sun exposure then make sure that you supplement with Vit D. Vitamin D plays a critically important role in promoting and modulating immune function. Vit D deficiency correlates with lower immune strength, cancer, several autoimmune diseases and our bodies susceptibility to infections ( including viral and bacterial respiratory infections.)

Unfortunately, nearly 1/3 of the U.S. population is Vitamin D deficient. Optimal levels of Vit D should be between 50-80. If you do not know your vitamin D status , contact Integrative Acupuncture and we will get you set up with an inexpensive test to find out. If you know your levels are low, ask us about proper supplementation .

If we can help you in any way to Optimize and Strengthen your Immune System call us at 608-236-9000 or email us at drxzhou@acupunctureherbalmd.com

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