I used to tell my patients that it is easier to stay well than it is to get well. It kind of goes along with the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” As we know, things like diet, nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep and exposure to toxicity all affect our overall well being. By managing each of these areas as well as adopting a model of consistency that actively supports the immune system, we can maintain good health throughout the year.
We all have an immune system that protects us from foreign invaders like bacteria, seasonal or environmental threats, and other pathogens, and by understanding how our immune system works we can help it help us stay healthy. Although the physiologic functioning of the immune system is pretty complex it’s easier to understand if we break it down into the two individual parts that work together to protect us from these different types of environmental threats and factors.
The first part is called fixed immunity. The first thing I think about when speaking of fixed immunity is the skin. It makes up a delicate but functional protective barrier between the outside environment and our inside environment. Our lungs and gastrointestinal tract make up the rest of our fixed immunity by acting as a barrier to the outside environment as well.
The second part is called mobile immunity. This part becomes activated when a pathogen like bacteria, seasonal or environmental threats makes it past our fixed immune system and the body becomes compromised. When this occurs, specialized immune cells mobilize in the blood stream and congregate at the site of unwanted pathogens to initiate the healing process.
Just as there are lifestyle factors that can inhibit our immune system, (ie. toxicity, poor nutrition, inactivity, stress) there are factors or choices we can make to enhance our body’s immune system. Some of those you may not have thought of before include:
Maintaining healthy intestinal flora. As we just learned, the gastrointestinal tract acts as a barrier to outside threats. When it is compromised, our immune system is compromised. By insuring there is healthy flora in the intestines, we improve the strength of that barrier. doTERRA’s PB Assist+ is the probiotic I recommend. It is innovatively encapsulated so that the healthy flora survives the harsh acidic environment of the stomach and is delivered healthy and whole to the small and large intestine where it populates the GI tract with healthy flora. It is best to use this product daily, but it is especially important to use it during times when the immune system may be compromised.
Diffuse essential oils regularly. Many new studies are showing that diffusion of essential oils helps clean and purify the air from pathogens and other seasonal threats. There are many essential oils and essential oil blends that benefit our immune system when diffused. Some of my favorites are On Guard blend, Breathe blend, Lemon, and Grapefruit. By breathing in these essential oils, we’re helping protect the other part of our fixed immunity barrier, our lungs.
Clean surfaces with essential oils. Surfaces that are touched frequently like cell phones, door knobs, and keyboards can expose us to harmful particles and should be cleaned. I like using doTERRA’s On Guard cleaning products, but there are many other essential oils that can minimize exposure to these harmful particles. In addition to being great for cleaning, essential oils help us to avoid the harsh toxic chemicals that are abundant in the typical cleaning products that are found in many homes.
Our immunity is limited by its ability to function properly. By adopting these and other healthy tips, and by developing a daily routine of prevention and maintenance, we can support our immune system and help it function in a way that will keep us healthy all year long.
If you have any questions about how incorporating essential oils into your daily health routine can help you, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org