Building Your Immune System
By Kreg Weiss, B HKin • January 4th, 2008 • 19147 Views
The immune system is a network of glands, nodes, and organs that work to protect the body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful organisms. The immune system requires a constant supply of energy and nutrients to maintain optimum function and performance. Toxins in the environment and in our food, poor diet, lack of or excessive exercise, and stress can all adversely effect the function of the immune system and can cause a decline in its' proper activity. Without the immune system functioning at optimum levels, the body becomes subject to illness, infections and health problems.
The immune system consists of the thymus gland, the spleen, lymph nodes (cervical, axillary, mammary), and other organs. These organs are involved in the process of generating and circulating immune cells and certain molecules (ie antibodies). Many factors play a role in strengthening and maintaining the immune system:
*Balanced Diet, Plentiful in Vitamins and Minerals
Antioxidants like vitamin C and E protect the body against free radicals. Free radicals can be produced or brought into the body through poor diet, alcohol, pollutants, smoking, and X-rays. Free radicals attack all cells in the body including the cells of the immune system. Antioxidants bind to free radicals and neutralize them, thus eliminating their damaging effects and help maintain the function of the immune system. Getting the recommended daily intake for these vitamins can be quit easy: 60 mg vitamin c (1 orange), 10 mg vitamin E (2 tbsp olive oil).
*Hatha Yoga – Practice of Yoga Poses
Yoga poses that twist and compress organs help massage and rejuvenate immune organs and channels. The practice of Yoga also generates balanced energy – vital energy required by the immune system. Other key poses can create specific benefits to improving immune function:
-Kurmasana (Tortoise pose) supports the thymus gland
-Inversions and Forward Bends like Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) improve the flow of the sinuses and help flush mucous from the lungs
-chest and lung openers like Ustrasana (Camel pose), Yoga Mudra and Bhujangasana (Camel pose) also increase lung mobility and flush out the lungs
-restorative Yoga poses (supported and gravity based) can provide healing benefits during low periods of energy...