Stop Killing your Immune System:
Every time you consume a medicine for an ailment that would go by itself, like in case of common cold, once the normal course or activity or the cycle of the bacteria or the virus gets completed, you harm yourself by pumping in medication and not giving a chance to your body’s immune system to kill the intruder, doing so you weaken the immune system.
In India, the irrational use of medicines is to such an extent that it has turned out to be as drug abuse, and if this trend goes on it would be too dangerous for the coming generations. This has been a major problem worldwide too. The WHO estimates that more than half of all medicines are those, which are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly. The irrational use of medicines results in wastage of scarce resources and widespread health hazards. Some such examples of irrational use of medicines include: use of too many medicines per patient; inappropriate use of antimicrobials, often in inadequate dosage, for non-bacterial infections; over-use of injections when oral formulations would be more appropriate; failure to prescribe in accordance with clinical guidelines; inappropriate self-medication, often of prescription-only medicines; non-adherence to dosing regimes. All this leads to resistance to drugs and newer and higher dosage of medicine would be required every time to overcome the disease.
There are several natural alternatives for prevention and cure of sickness, which are routinely ignored by many of us, there would be only a few people left out in this world who would know these small but effective ways of healing naturally. May be because in this busy world people look out for quicker and easier ways of getting cured as soon as possible, whereas end up in the vicious cycle of getting sick time and again.
When it comes to prevention of diseases like the recent scare of “swine flu” and many other illnesses, the most important element involved is our immune system. With big business promoting and encouraging people to consume more medicine, and your doctor under the influence of pharma companies start prescribing more medicine to achieve some personal benefits. Amidst all this you need to do your best to look out for yourself.
There are many herbal homemade cures available for several small and so called big ailments that haunt people from all walks of life. For example, when it comes to ailments of throat occurring largely because of the tonsils or some mild infection, especially in summer season when people consume too much of cold drinks or even ice-creams to cool themselves down from the rising mercury. Pain and irritation of the throat is common in this season. Now, rather than taking some antibiotic, it is advisable to take lemon and honey for sore throat and even gargle with a little salt in luke warm water. If you have your tonsils swollen, avoid cold stuff.
Although there are a wide variety of herbal supplements available in the market that can assist in boosting your immune system and improving your daily life, the mass media and healthcare industry does a reprehensible job in making that information available. With the toxicity of vaccinations, which use such damaging chemicals as mercury and the plethora of crippling side effects associated with them that have been well documented, although ignored over the years, natural medicine is a welcome solution.
The following are a few tips rather some measures that would help you boost your immunity. Such measures are easy and convenient to follow that you would never have realized.
- Go out and Mingle:
Your immune system likes it when you spend time with friends. “Research data shows the value of nurturing, social support and camaraderie,” says neurologist Barry Bittman, M.D., CEO of the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, Pa. In one such study, researchers exposed people to a cold virus and then monitored how many contacts those people had with friends, family, co-workers and members of church and community groups. The more social contacts the people had – and the more diverse the contacts – the less likely they were to catch the cold. Touch is important too: Giving or getting hugs or other forms of touch can boost the activity of the natural killer cells that seek out and destroy cancer cells or cells that have been invaded by viruses.
- Listening to Music:
This can help you boost your immunity, but it has to be music that you love. “Something that calms one person might not be soothing for others,” Research says that the trick is finding music that soothes one’s soul. Scientists at McGill University in Montreal found that listening to music that sent “shivers down the spine” or that gave people chills stimulated the same “feel-good” parts of the brain that are activated by food and sex. “Even better than listening to music is making it,” says Dr. Bittman, who found that people who took part in an amateur group-drumming session had greatly enhanced natural killer-cell activity afterward.
- Cut the Noise:
Noise hurts more than your ears. Any unwanted and intrusive sound can trigger muscle tension, speed heartbeat, constrict blood vessels and cause digestive upsets – the same response your body has to being startled or stressed. Chronic exposure to noise can lead to even longer-lasting changes in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and immune function. A research by Cornell University has found that women who work in moderately noisy offices produce more of the stress hormone adrenaline and may be more vulnerable to heart disease than women who work in quiet offices. Even worse are unwelcome sounds you perceive as uncontrollable, such as car alarms, barking dogs and mobile phone ring tones. Try to take control over the noise in your environment, even if it means wearing earplugs or take initiative to curb down the noise.
- Look on the bright side “Be optimistic”:
The immune system takes many of its cues from our thoughts and feelings, so try to keep your outlook upbeat. Years ago, Mayo Clinic researchers found that people who were optimists in their youth tended to live 12 years longer than pessimists. A recent study by Anna L. Marsland, Ph.D., R.N., a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, found that people who were negative, moody, nervous and easily stressed had a weaker immune response to a hepatitis vaccination than their more positive peers. Negativity is a personality trait that’s difficult to change, but if wearing rose-colored glasses can improve your immunity, why not try on a pair?
- Eat Right and Proper:
Any kind of nutritional deficiency may lead to more frequent and prolonged illnesses. If you starve yourself, your body will think it’s under siege and pump out stress hormones. Also, dropping more than 2 pounds per week is hard on the T cells that detect diseased or foreign cells. Best advice: Choose fats carefully (omega-3s are good), get enough protein, eat your fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of fluids. “Dehydration lowers resistance,” Berk says. Herbs and supplements that promise to boost immunity do no such thing. In fact, mega doses of some so-called immunity-enhancing nutrients, such as zinc, can backfire, which is why experts recommend avoiding zinc supplements that provide more than 25 milligrams daily. One exception may be echinacea, which seems to lessen cold symptoms’ severity.
- Laugh out loud (Laughter is the best medicine):
While painful emotions like anger and grief can impair health, laughter improves immunity. A real belly laugh increases infection-fighting antibodies and boosts natural killer-cell activity, says Berk, who has shown students funny videos and measured their immune systems’ response. “Even anticipating a humorous encounter can enhance immunity,” he says. “It happens at the molecular level.” Laughter also increases circulation, stimulates digestion, lowers blood pressure and reduces muscle tension.
- Use your Brain:
Certain kinds of thinking may boost immunity. University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientist Dr. Marian Diamond, Ph.D., found that playing bridge stimulated women’s immune systems. Her research is the first to show a connection between the immune system and the part of the brain that handles planning, memory, initiative, judgement and abstract thinking. Says Diamond: “Any mental activity that uses one or a combination of these intellectual functions might benefit immune activity.”
- Move your Body:
Regular, moderate exercise can boost several aspects of your body’s self-defence system. “Physical activity not only strengthens your cardiovascular system,” Berk says, “It improves your mood and reduces stress as well.” Many studies show that long-term training also elevates natural killer-cell activity. But don’t push too hard: If you’re already under emotional stress, you might want to avoid exercising beyond your usual level. And if your training is unusually prolonged and intense, your risk for illness and infection increases.
- Learn how to Relax:
Stress jacks up your body’s production of cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that lower immune response. No wonder you’re more likely to come down with a cold or the flu when faced with stressful situations like final exams or relationship problems. Stress-induced anxiety also can inhibit natural killer-cell activity. If practiced regularly, any of the well-known relaxation techniques — from aerobic exercise and progressive muscle relaxation to meditation, prayer and chanting — help block release of stress hormones and increase immune function.
- Douse the Night-Light:
Only when it’s really dark does your body produce melatonin, a hormone that helps prevent certain diseases. Not sleeping enough, or being exposed to light during the night, decreases melatonin production and boosts estrogen levels, increasing breast-cancer risk. In fact, recent studies have found a heightened risk of breast cancer up to 60 percent among women who work in nightshift, and possibly an even greater increase among women with the brightest bedrooms. Not surprisingly, blind women have an approximate 20-50 percent reduction in breast-cancer risk. Even a dim source like a bedside clock or a night light may switch melatonin production off, so keep your bedroom as dark as possible.
There is plethora of measures that help you increase your immunity and keep you fit and fine.