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Lifestyle for the Immune System

The last thing I find important to address for preventing and treating illnesses is lifestyle. Let me go over my top 11 lifestyle choices you can make for your family to help the Immune System.

  1. Hand Sanitizers: First and foremost, stop using hand sanitizers. It is a marketing trick. Here is when I use hand sanitizers: I just pet a goat or farm animal, I have some sort of unidentifiable bodily fluid I touched, and feet where fungus might arise.  Besides that, they have proven that over use of antibacterial products is actually lowering our immune system.  I will give you a short lessen. Your skin has a natural fat/polylipid oil on it. This oil is got a special antimicrobial factor, so when you touch something it initiates an immediate immune response of protections, as well as, provide a protection layer to not penetrate and absorb into the skin/body. When you rub alcohol on it, you wash away this protective layer and the bugs you did not kill, can now penetrate the skin.  This is why it is sometimes good not to bath young children everyday. We want to keep this protective layer on their skin. If you keep washing it away with harsh soaps and chemicals, you are increasing their susceptibility to these little bugs. Now, if your child has been playing in the community ball pit or playhouse, I would recommend a nice bath. But everyday inside activities, I think you would be safe to skip a bath. Think about the old days when some people did not bath for weeks due to cold weather. We still survived. Too much hygiene is killing us, because it prevents our body from being exposed to bugs and building its own immune system. This is why a simple cold can cause devastating effects on people. We are supposed to be exposed to these natural predators and our body is designed to protect us (if we let it).

  2. Sleep: Sleep is so important to help the body repair. Watching TV while you are sick is the worst thing you can do. I will admit, I too get trapped in the boredom and desire to watch TV, but don’t! Sleep is the only think that allows your brain to stop and allows your body to start the repair process. When you watch TV you can actually keep up the glucose production and energy production to process what you are watching and then you may be anxious over the show you are seeing. We want the body to be in a pure relaxation state.  I get frustrated when people are on their phones during an acupuncture treatment. The purpose of the treatment is to rest while the body tries to fix the issue. When you are on your phone, your brain never rests and you are stimulating cortisol production causing anxiety. Your child and yourself need to rest when sick.  If you go straight to bed with maybe some calming music or a sound machine, wrapped in warm blankets and sleep, you will feel like a new person the next day. Especially children. They rebound quickly from an illness, if you give them the support to.

  3. No blue lights. They have proven that blue lights cause over stimulation of the brain. This is TV, Ipads, blue light alarm clocks, computers, devices with blue light alarms and sensors. It is horrible for the body!

  4. No EMF: Current research is trying to show the correlation with EMF and our health. It has now been encouraged to keep all modems away from bedrooms where you sleep. They are starting to link correlations with the EMF waves interrupting not only sleep but healing patterns. There are several study’s but nothing is set in stone, so my theory is better safe than sorry. Also, many people do not know that the water and electrical meter box outside their home has very strong EMF waves. This is so the power and water person can just drive by your house with a device and it reads your usage. These rays are so powerful, they are researching to see the health effects in people. Many of these boxes are next to the master bedrooms. There are devices you can purchase that go over these boxes to reduce the frequencies coming into your house. If your family gets sick a lot, I would recommend this purchase. Anything digital or has Bluetooth capabilities, I would remove from the room where you plan on sleeping until you get well. Let’s give the body the best environment to help heal itself.

  5. Air purifier: Some homes are old and have mold or bad quality air. If I find a patient is having difficulty getting well, especially from an upper respiratory condition, I recommend an air purifier or HEPA Filter. There are so many on the market. Sometimes I even recommend an ionizer. There are even systems you can buy for your air unit that use a UV light to kill any bacteria or foreign particles which can cause allergies or illnesses.

  6. Diet: It is so easy to keep up your immune system if you have a healthy diet. I can’t express more for children.  It is amazing when I visit my child’s school and I see what we pack in our children’s lunch, much less the cafeteria. Everyone, sugar and carbs help feed these parasites and bugs.  When you throw a cookie, or Lunchables, or crackers, bread, pasta, sour gummy worms, fruit juices, Gatorade, Powerade, chips, etc…. in their lunch you are encouraging them to get sick. It is time we introduce our children to vegetables, proteins, broths/soups. I am right there with you. I am a working mom, who owns her own business, and wears 100 hats. It is so difficult to make lunches that last and they can eat in 10 minutes. Yet I try and I do. The winter season is the worse for colds and flues but here is where lunch should be easier. I love crockpot foods. I find that I can leave the crockpot on overnight with nutritious broths or stews. In the morning (6 am) I get a thermos and scoop out that hot broth or stew to feed my child for lunch. She loves it. I usually cook vegetables at night and add it to her lunch the next day.  Warmer months a good cucumber and tomato salad is great. Spiral zucchini noodles in a pasta sauce can satisfy any taste. It is time we start working together to think outside the box and encourage nutritious foods for our children that can boost their immune system, instead of weakening it. Food is your first line of defense against illness. There is no refuting this. All studies show it. So we as mothers and fathers need to support each other and making healthy meals for our children at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I promise, your doctor bills will be much lower if we invest the time in proper nutrition.

  7. Fresh Air: In today's day and age, children never get out and play. I know many parents who remember the day when you played outside all day until the street lights came on. Yet, children today stay inside all day. They wake up in the house, go to school and stay inside, come home and watch TV inside and then go to bed. The fresh air is so important for a child’s immune system, as well as, the sun. The sun is where you actually get your Vitamin D (not from a synthetic pill). Yet, we have put the fear of God in everybody about the sun. 15 mintues of direct sunlight without sunscreen is all you need to get the appropriate amount of Vitamin D. Many skin conditions in babies and newborns have been cleared up with direct sunlight 20 minutes a day. Even my child when she was born had strange red bumps on her face.  She was born in the winter but I sill placed her in a stroller and exposed her face to the sun for 20 minutes a day. It cleared up very quickly. This natural Vitamin D helps support the immune system. During the winter, I require my daughter and I to walk for at least 20 minutes or more outside in the sun (with no sunscreen on).  Nothing like fresh air and sunshine to restart and heal the body. Try to encourage your children to play outside. (Please read my blog about the dangers of sunscreen as well.)

  8. Epsom salt baths: I use these baths for muscle conditions but I also use them as a cold and flu prevention for kids. Anytime my child even thinks she is getting sick, the first thing she does is asks for the Congaplex and then an Epsom salt bath. The magnesium and sulfate are good at reducing toxins in the body, a good fever reducer and helps with muscle aches and pains. Magnesium is used by every cell in the body and most Americans are magnesium deficient. I like using it on children as a natural detox agent. There are different types of salts out there now with different essential oils and ingredients to help detox the body. I like charcoal and ginger as well for cold and flu conditions. As a preventative, once a week, an Epsom salt bath is fine to help detox your child and keep their immune system up.

  9. Apple Cider Vinegar: So many books have been written on the healing properties of apple cider vinegar. I have used these remedies for years for every possible condition you can think of, yet today we are talking about general health. When the winter season approaches, I find my child loves to eat “pickled onions”.  They are easy to make. Basically, you cut onion in place in a mason jar with honey and some apple cider vinegar.  The onions will soak this up and become soft. If you read my other articles, you will know the benefits of onions, honey, and now apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has many healing properties. If you add a tablespoon to honey and hot water and have your child drink a warm cup everyday, absences at school should decrease dramatically. Why is apple cider vinegar so good for you? In general, it contains 19 minerals and 22 minerals that are needed for our body to function. Secondly, apple cider vinegar in many books note it is an acid base and most minerals work best in an acid base, like potassium. It helps fight off infection by keeping fluids in your body’s cells and not allowing bacteria to take it for its own growth. Vinegar is great for destroying microorganisms in the gut. For this reason, we recommend it for digestion support and acid reflux conditions. Apple Cider Vinegar is great for killing bacteria, fungi, viruses and prevents poisons from entering your system. I could write a novel on the benefits of apple cider vinegar but for now we will give general benefits. 

  10. WATER, WATER, WATER: If you are sick or getting sick, the only thing that is going to flush out the toxins from your body is WATER. The paragraph above mentioned that apple cider vinegar helps keep fluid in the cells because bacteria likes to steal this fluid from your body for its own survival. Then why in the world would you consume sodas, juices, and energy drinks? They don’t provide even ¼ of the fluid you need for your body. Only water is going to prevent these bacteria from thriving. 80 percent of your body is water.  Why are we starving it from our children?  You must flush these bugs out and support our own cellular system.  Here is the first game plan. No juices, sodas, or energy drinks/ electrolyte drinks in our kid’s lunches, dinner table, or breakfast. If a child wants this, then give it only on special occasions. It is an easy transition and your child will appreciate it when they get older and have less health issues. 

  11. CHIROPRACTIC AND ACUPUNCTURE: Many patients do not realize that I want them to come in the office when they are feeling like they are going to get sick or want to prevent it. If you have read my last articles and blogs, you will have learned how chiropractic and acupuncture can stimulate the nervous system supporting your immune. Most of my patient will come in when they sense a stuffy nose to help stimulate the nerve to clear that mucous. Or they may ask for acupuncture to help do the same, as well as, boost their immune system.  It does not take long and we get wonderful results. My family has been trained, when they feel “under the weather” my daughter immediately asks to be adjusted. I grew up this way, and sometimes I forget that most of my patients have never been exposed to this philosophy. They just think of both as musculoskeletal fixers, but not organ and immune simulators. There have been several small studies monitoring children who had regular chiropractic adjustment and the decrease in missed school days from illness.  I myself is a prime example of this study.  Don’t just think chiropractic and acupuncture is for musculoskeletal or current chronic issues, but think of it as an additional immune wellness protocol.

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