Immune System Boosters That Address The Whole Person And Help Us Get Through This
C.S. Sherin, 18 March 2020, updated 12 August 2020
What are some holistic ways to support and boost our immune systems during this stressful time? Well, let’s first talk about some of the hidden parts of us that affect the whole…
Energetically, our immune system is connected to our ability to love unconditionally (our “higher heart”), to feel belonging and acceptance within ourselves, and to forgive — or at least, to let go of resentments, anger, and grudges.
For things such as this, we can’t magically wave a wand and suddenly become more loving and forgiving. That is a process and practice that develops and changes throughout life, and takes time. However, there are practices we can put into place to encourage and nurture states of being that support and boost our immune systems right now, that also support that healthy process for our hearts and spirit.
Our immune system is also connected to our thought-emotion processes in another way. If we are mired down in negativity — negative thinking, depression, excessive anger (from within ourselves, and/or due to others in our immediate environment) that won’t let up — that can, over time, weaken or slow our immune system’s ability to respond well.
Again, just like the other energetic aspects, we can’t magically wave a wand and be done with cyclic addictions to negative thinking, anger, or mental health issues like depression. (Mental health issues often require therapy and medications, not just positive thinking.) Nor can we magically wave a wand and get rid of others who pollute our environment or workplace. However, we can put in place practices that help us to let go of stagnant, unhealthy mental-emotional patterns, and we can begin to address our own bad habits. We can also seek healthier boundaries in our lives.
The last emotional aspect is relevant to symptoms of COVID-19, for where it can rest in the body, and that is grief.
Grief can sit in our chest and even be felt in our heart and/or lungs, or deep down in our knees. COVID-19 affects the respiratory system.
It is important to acknowledge and address any grief we may be dealing with — even if it seems small compared to others, and even if it is sometimes overwhelming. Like everything else, there is no pushing the river. There is no magic bullet. But, if we become aware that we are holding onto grief, we can begin to release it with our breath, and welcome in some healing, loving energy into our chests.
We all grieve in different ways, but the important thing is that we DO allow ourselves to grieve. This is because ANY unacknowledged feelings/experiences will live within our bodies, waiting to be dealt with and heard. They sometimes make themselves known as a deep ache in the knee, or through colds that always go right to the chest. Feelings cannot be exiled forever. Grief cannot be denied forever. It must be gone through, that is the only way. We don’t “get over it.” We go through it.
And for some of us, there has been much grief, and we have become attached to it, and may even cling to it. In that case, it is time to let go, with movement, breath, and gentle kindness.
And for others of us, a trauma, loss, and grief is too fresh and raw, and we must tend to it gingerly — and with great respect for our own internal timing and needs.
For more grief support, go here: Coping with Grief and Loss (HelpGuide.org)
In addition to the mental-emotional and energetic aspects, we can address the very important and practical physical, dietary, and hygienic aspects as well. Here are some suggestions for boosting our immune systems in a holistic manner:
Immune System Boosters & Support
- Extend kindness, patience, and great gentleness to ourselves, and then to everyone else: go slow, breathe deeply and slowly to relieve tension, take breaks as needed. Fast from stress sources in order to regain strength and calm.
- Practice healthy boundaries that support health for self and others — physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically. And, allow for those boundary needs to fluctuate and change according to changing circumstances.
- Sit with and allow all the emotions to flow naturally, feel them, and let them go. To release difficult emotions: talk, cry, write, draw, exercise, and/or help/care for self and others.
- Spend time on activities that nurture and encourage feelings of peace, compassion, and health: meditation/prayer, music, singing, dancing, candles/incense, rest, comedy, time in nature and/or with animals, and/or help a loved one.
- Engage in a spiritual practice that connects you to the sacred: meditation, prayer, healing visualizations, walking — or whatever it is for you, it could be anything.
- Use healing visualizations to work on healing grief, anger, and other negative things that need to be let go of. If you need some ideas, feel free to contact me. I am here to help!
- When we take good care of ourselves, then helping others can become a great boost to our immune system and whole being.
- For complete hygiene and physical self-care tips, see my post from yesterday. In addition, remember that refined sugars will run down the immune system, as will too much alcohol and/or smoking.
- Burning sage may be a good idea, as it is able to kill germs in the air.
- There are many herbs and foods that can be used to help treat respiratory illnesses at home, please see this article on Medical News Today for many ideas.
- Mullein is another herb I am aware of that can help with the respiratory system. Some herbal teas are also sold as being for respiratory health, and could be helpful.
- Essential oils can be used to help sanitize and alleviate stress and panic. Keep in mind that some essential oils shouldn’t be applied to the skin at all, and some are highly toxic to animal companions or small children. Always research how to appropriately apply or diffuse an essential oil before using it.
We are facing some seriously difficult and distressing situations. Please use the following helpline links if you need to:
Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Crisis Text Line: text CONNECT to 741741 CrisisTextLine.org.
For more important resources go here.