We live in stressful times. Many people are very concerned about their health especially with the winter season ahead of us. This is the perfect time to boost your body’s natural defense against disease, your immune system. When our immune system is strong, we are protected from colds and flu, so it is important to support it at this time.
The factors that weaken our immune system are:
stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. Chronic stress and anxiety will increase the body’s cortisol level and reduce the production of prostaglandin in the body. Prostaglandin supports healthy immune functioning.
Lack of sleep interferes with the body’s ability to heal and rejuvenate itself. If the body is unable to renew itself, the production of white blood cells is reduced. Research supports getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night to stay healthy.
Sitting in front of a computer for hours without any exercise program reduces blood flow throughout the body which will reduce the flow of antibodies that battle infections. Likewise, a diet which has mainly processed and junk food, high in sugar and preservatives impairs the ability of the white blood cells to fight bacterial infections.
Finally, a sedentary lifestyle and junk food over time will create obesity. Obesity is one of the most prevalent health conditions of our time. This condition creates a lot of inflammation and greatly taxes the ability of the immune system to fight disease.
Acupressure and acupuncture support the immune system by balancing the body’s natural energy or chi and promoting a state of deep relaxation in which the body can release stress. When our stress is reduced, we can rest more easily and sleep more soundly.
When our Chi is flowing freely, symptoms such as headaches, backaches, indigestion, and general aches and pains are diminished. Studies on acupuncture have shown it can boost the functions of the immune system to secrete antibodies to fight against germs and viruses. Acupressure can also help improve immune function.
A few pressure points that help to improve immune function are:
Great Ravine– located between the highest point of the inner ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. You press into the point toward the ankle bone.
Great Rushing– this is located on the top of the foot, in the webbing between the big and second toes. It is a liver point, and you press in and up toward the leg. It helps to increase blood flow throughout the body, and can relieve headaches, menstrual cramps, and lower back pain.