As we enter the winter months immunity support is even more critical to reduce the impact of being infected by COVID-19. On top of the stress from the new normal of how we celebrate holidays we are dealing with seasonal colds and flu. I reached out to Dr. Michelle Renee, Director of Integrative Care at Northwestern Health Sciences University, in Bloomington Minnesota to discuss immunity support.
What are some things we can do to build immune support?
I have a couple of thoughts that I have about that. The first is that we as human beings are not machines. Humans are really self-healing organisms. And that also means that our immune systems are really an active and ever changing aspect of our being. And so, there are things that we can do to enhance our immunity and make us more resistant. And there are certainly things we can do in our lives that will make us less resistant or less able to survive an illness should we get it.
In complementary and integrative healthcare, as clinicians, we work to determine what we can we do with the body in order to better support it. We believe that supporting the body is far more important than what drug can we give people in order to either protect them better or kill the virus if we were to get it.
What advice would you provide people about how they could deal with lifestyle stress?
I think that that answer is a little bit different for everybody, but some key pieces that seem consistent for a lot of people are some form of mind, body medicine, and the best form of mind, body medicine is that, which we can give ourselves at home on a daily basis. That might be meditation. For some people, maybe it is a certain type of a yoga practice. There is some movement incorporated with that mind body connection. Its whatever strategy works to quiet the nervous system to slow the heart rate, to slow breathing, those kinds of things have a really significant impact on the body and its ability to manage stress.
Another thing I would say about coping with stress is that many of us are facing high levels of stress right now. Media is bombarding us constantly with bad news. I think another trick or a tool that we could use right now is doing a regular media fast. Checking the news many times a day is simply not healthy for us. And when we use social media we are checking the news many times a day, setting some boundaries for ourselves, about how much we access, maybe television or our mobile devices and social media and so forth just to protect ourselves a little bit that way.
These were just a few of the points that I discussed with Dr. Renee, visit the immunity center on alternativemedicine.com to learn more. And learn more about Dr. Michele Renee (DC, MAc), Director of Integrative Care at Northwestern Health Sciences University