How to Start Winning The Battle With Your Immune System Now
Two weeks ago, we looked at why massage is such a tremendous way to boost your immune system.
In fact, I highly recommend you talk to a trained massage therapist about this.
But what if your immune system is seriously weakened?
Maybe you have an autoimmune disease. The kind where your immune system starts to attack your own cells and tissues.
Or maybe you don’t.
Either way, what you learn here can immensely help you – whether you have an autoimmune disease or not.
Some of the all-too-common autoimmune disorders include lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and inflammatory bowel disease.
In the past, some doctors felt some of these disorders were caused by viruses.
For example, there’s the Epstein-Barr virus. This is a herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis. Some feel this virus can later bring about chronic fatigue syndrome.
Whether this is true or not, some doctors are now starting to feel there’s a deeper cause.
And this is actually good news.
Because this cause is something that you can fix.
A weakened immune system leaves you susceptible to viruses.
Strengthen your immune system and the problems go away.
Josh Axe, doctor of natural medicine, explains 5 steps to strengthen your immune system (and even overcome autoimmune diseases.)
Axe feels that all these immune problems started in your gut lining with something called “leaky gut.”
He’s also confident that 100% of these problems can be erased with all-natural treatments, diet, supplements and essential oils.
Axe says the number one thing to do is remove foods from your diet that cause an inflammatory reaction.
Why? And what’s leaky gut?
Imagine your gut lining as a microscopic net between your intestines and your blood stream.
When the net gets rips and tears in it, certain things like gluten, toxins and bad bacteria get into your blood.
These substances should never be in your blood – so your body rightly tries to attack and remove these harmful items.
Certain foods are more likely to create more rips and tears in the net.
As your gut lining becomes further injured, your blood becomes more polluted.
Your body starts to get overwhelmed and begins to destroy the good cells along with the bad ones.
How do you reverse this awful process?
Stop eating food that causes inflammation.
Foods like refined sugar. It causes yeast to grow out of control in your body. Yeast cuts and slashes the delicate net which is your gut lining.
The next biggest offender is bad fats. Hydrogenated oils. Trans fats. And too much omega-6 (instead of omega-3) fatty acid.
Gluten and casein too. This means wheat, bread and dairy foods all cause inflammation.
Sadly, even whole grains can increase inflammation when your gut lining becomes damaged like this.
So if you have an autoimmune disease, consider going grain-free for a period of time.
Or at least eat grains that have been sprouted and slow-cooked for a long time. Think sprouted wild rice, slow-cooked into a porridge or congee.
Rice porridge? Well, there are actually some pretty tasty recipes out there for this. Just substitute regular jasmine rice for the wild, sprouted variety.
You’ll also want to avoid any additives – food colorings, artificial sweeteners and most types of packaged, processed or fast foods.
Next, eat foods that reduce inflammation. And the best food for that? Cooked vegetables.
Raw food can be hard to digest, even damaging for someone who already has a compromised or leaky gut.
Spinach, carrots, celery – any kind of cooked vegetable is great.
Fruit is wonderful too – as long as you don’t go overboard and eat too much sugar.
One to two servings a day is well with the safe range.
Especially berries and easy-to-digest fruits, like pears.
Many fruits have enzymes to help you digest food – figs, papaya, kiwi and pineapple.
These are super-helpful for someone with immune problems linked to leaky gut.
Good fats are essential to reducing inflammation.
What kind of good fats?
Wild-caught fish or grass-fed meats can be helpful.
In fact, salmon and cod liver oil contain healthy doses of an omega-3 fatty acid called EPA and DHA, which are wonderful for reducing inflammation.
Properly extracted (cold pressed) flaxseed oil is a healthy plant source for the anti-inflammatory, healthy omega-3 fat.
Avocados are also very healthy.
And “coconut oil should be your go-to cooking oil if you have an autoimmune disease,” Axe says.
Olive oil and ghee are next best.
Can bone broth help you?
Dr Axe highly recommends it. Bone broth contains the amino acids proline, glycine and l-glutamine.
And this is why bone broth is thought to repair leaky gut.
Repair leaky gut (mend the net) and you stop the cause of so many immune problems.
You can make your own bone broth too.
Get cuts of chicken with the bone left in. Make a broth and include other vegetables, like celery, carrots and onions.
Add more healing herbs to your diet.
Herbs like turmeric, ginger, cumin, rosemary – and there are many others.
These not only reduce inflammation but also promote healing.
Doctors feel that supplements can also help your immune system heal more quickly.
Supplements like bone broth and collagen powder – which you can add to smoothies, soups and a number of foods.
How much should you take? Axe recommends 50 billion IU’s twice a day.
Especially the non-dairy, soil-based or plant-based ones, such as fermented coconut, kombucha and others.
These are actually live bacteria and yeasts. Unlike the bad kind of yeast, doctors say these can actually help heal your immune system.
Use digestive enzymes, such as pineapple and papaya enzymes. These help your body digest food easier and can also reduce inflammation.
Ax feels these are the most beneficial supplements for fighting autoimmune disease.
You can also buy magnesium powdered supplement. This goes great in drinks or smoothies. Magnesium is called the relaxation mineral.
And anyone with a weakened immune system especially needs this.
Essential oils are a fantastic immune-boosting relaxation aid.
As we saw in the last article, there’s an amazing link between relieving stress and healing your immune system.
Axe’s favorite is Roman chamomile oil.
He says this helps bring down cortisol levels (the harmful stress hormone) while causing you to relax.
You can rub a few drops on your neck or put some drops in a diffuser a few times a day.
Axe feels that chamomile is the best essential oil for autoimmune disease. Frankincense and myrrh are also very beneficial.
For Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or rheumatoid arthritis, he recommends rubbing a couple drops of each oil onto the affected area.
Thyme, lavender and ylang ylang oils are also very calming, healing and can even help improve your mood.
Axe recommends that you use these oils daily.
Learn and use stress-reducing techniques throughout your week.
Start your morning with time just for you. Time to read positive, uplifting, encouraging words. Time to think about what you really want out of life.
Schedule time with friends. Doing something for or with others can take your mind off yourself and any anxieties you feel.
Plan time for exercise and stretching that promotes stress relief.
Deep breathing will also naturally help your immune system heal.
Go on a walk. Immerse yourself in your favorite hobbies.
Take a healing hot bath before bedtime.
Put about 10 drops of essential oil in your bath water along with a cup of Epsom salts.
Epsom salts contain magnesium. Remember? The relaxation mineral?
Use this bath time to wind down and get rid of stressful emotions.
Great results await you for transforming your lifestyle like this.
Avoid harmful foods. Eat helpful foods. Reduce stress.
Changing your life and replacing the old habits that caused problems takes time.
Learn to be patient and persistent.
You’ll soon be on the road to a stronger immune system and maybe even feeling great again.
How can I help you personally? Call me at 303-920-2350 with any questions, concerns or to find out how massage can make life better for you.
by Sarah Shropshire
LMT, Essential Oil Consultant and Business Owner