Is Your Immune System Ready for Fall?
Fall is approaching quickly. It makes me think of fun activities like apple picking, hayrides and looking for the perfect pumpkin! Although we enjoy the opportunity to get out in the cool clear air and participate in these fall activities, colds and the flu are right around the corner. Add concerns about keeping ourselves protected from Covid-19, and next thing you know we are very stressed.
It turns out that stress, which we can’t seem to avoid lately, negatively impacts the immune system. Cortisol is released into the body when we experience anxiety, fear or some stressor in our environment. It is our body’s way of protecting us from threats, the “fight or flight” response. Once cortisol is released into our blood stream, our body becomes ready for action. Short-term increases in cortisol can reduce inflammation. However, if we don’t physically release this urge to action, cortisol can build up in the blood and increase inflammation. This can result in additional health problems.
White blood cells are part of the immune system. Certain types of white blood cells attach to an infected cell, multiply and destroy it, thus protecting you from an infection trying to invade your body. During times of stress, certain types of immune cells are reduced in your body impacting your ability to fight disease. This is not good. With Fall approaching and Covid-19 still a threat, you can’t afford to weaken your body’s ability to fight disease. You want your immune system in tip top shape for any attacks that may come your way.
How do you protect yourself against stress and the impact it has on the immune system?
In a recent study, Chinese Medicine researchers used modern techniques to measure the effects of acupuncture on the immune system. They found that it enhances the immune system, stimulates production of helper T cells, and promotes cytokines. Helper T cells and cytokines are involved in regulating the immune response.
Let’s take care of your stress and immune system so you can have a happy and healthy fall and winter! We’re here for you with acupuncture, supplements and herbs. Look forward to seeing you soon!