Many people are wondering how they can improve their immune systems at this time. I have recommended supplements, vitamins, and essential oils toward this purpose, however, one of the most important and often overlooked effectors of the immune response is stress. Most people are feeling increased stress during the pandemic- due to finances, contracting the virus, the state of the world, and so forth. Although supplements can help with stress, learning how to manage it with simple breathing techniques and self care can go a long way.
With chronic stress, the body goes into a “fight or flight” pattern. This means blood vessels are constricted, so intestines can’t eliminate as well, and one produces stress hormones that affect sleep, mood, and cognition. If one’s body isn’t properly rested, it cannot properly repair itself and the immune system may suffer. If elimination is affected due to constriction, this will increase the toxic burden on the body, which the immune system will need to fight, thus creating chronic inflammation. The long term effects of chronic inflammation include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.
One simple strategy that doesn’t require supplements, herbs, or vitamins is square breathing. This is a mind/body technique used by Navy Seals to calm themselves in combat situations that has been clinically proven to reduce stress and blood pressure. A kind of meditation, the technique requires you visualize a square in front of you, breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for four, breathe out for four seconds, and hold for another four. Imagining that you are following the lines of the square. It can be incredibly effective and is quite easy to use in order to calm a visceral reaction to stress. Hoping it helps, and be well.
Here is a tutorial on how to square breathe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAlTJscAuy8