by Emma Penfold / 30 July 2020 / No Comments

Andy Roscoe, Director and Acupuncturist, discusses what constitutes our immune system and how we might strengthen it…

Strengthening the immune system is a phrase that you have probably heard quite a lot in the last few months in connection with staying well in the face of the threat of Covid 19. But what exactly is the ‘immune system?’

It is a term that has sometimes been used loosely in the media to suggest it is an actual part of the body or an organ. Sometimes we are told that certain foods or treatments strengthen it, and sometimes we are told, confusingly, that it is actually the immune system going into over-drive that can cause Covid 19 to become fatal.

In Acupuncture thinking the ‘immune system’ is actually a very broad term which describes the resilience of the body and mind to stress and infection.

It implies that the health of both the mind and body is important in our ability to deal with the rigours of life. So how do we maintain a healthy immune system?

Many factors affect the functioning of our body and mind. On a simple level the quality of our diet and sleep will be important, as will the amount of  exercise we do. Keeping a balance between work, rest and play comes into this equation.

On another level, the quality of our work and home environments and the quality of our relationships with key people in these places will have a significant effect on our health. Getting stuck in a stressful home or work situation can certainly undermine health.

On the more specific level of our bodily functions it is also true that the constitutional strength we inherited from our parents will play a part in the overall wellness of our immune system. Constitutional weaknesses need to be understood and addressed with appropriate treatments or lifestyle changes in order that they don’t dominate our health inordinately.

The Acupuncture view of the body is only one way of understanding how we are joined up inside.  But it is a sophisticated holistic therapy that can allow us to reconnect our minds with our bodies and make good decisions when things feel like they might fall apart. In this respect it is a pro-active way of keeping well and not allowing our ‘immune system’ to become run down, the pre-cursor of so many illnesses in society today. In simple energetics, a clearer stronger energy in our minds and bodies gives us a better chance of having a resilient immune system, and more chance of getting through tough times which otherwise might floor us.