For a strong immune system this new year, this DIY acupressure massage therapy is a must-try.
This is the fifth newsletter in an ongoing series that will help you alleviate various aches and pains with DIY acupressure massage therapy. Katoka Massage Therapy knows that aches and pains can really take away from your abilities and overall happiness. We’re here to help you access some relief without having to leave the comforts and safety of your home.
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Cold season, flu season, Covid Season…oh no! Our immune system needs our help more than ever. The immune system works to protect the body from foreign invaders and disease. You might be thinking you need a little ‘boost.’ But can you actually boost your immunity?
While many products claim that they will boost your immune system, that doesn’t make too much sense scientifically. In fact, attempting to boost cells of any kind can actually do more harm than good. This is because your innate system is what you are naturally born with to protect you.
Boosting it to hyper-drive would make you constantly unwell, as your body might not differentiate between good and bad bacteria and the like. The good news is, your immune system can be strengthened, both with a healthy lifestyle and acupressure!
How the Immune System Works
The immune system’s basic function is to limit or prevent infection within the body. A healthy immune system distinguishes between normal, healthy cells and those that are unhealthy. Cells can be unhealthy due to infection or damaged by non-infectious means such as cancer.
The body is constantly patrolling for any unhealthy signals showing that viruses, bacteria, or bad cells are present. The immune system then responds to address the problem.
Problems occur when an immune response is not activated, think infections, or when a response is activated without a real threat, think allergic reactions. As a complex system, there are numerous cell types circulating throughout the body in the bloodstream and within different tissues. Immune cells come from the bone marrow and then mature. The skin is also the first line of defence for the body, containing immune cells among its layers.
The digestive tract is also home to nearly 70% of your immune system, your good bacteria and microorganisms defending your gut from infection.
Signs of a Weakened Immune System
Tensions are high right now with the risk of COVID. Rightly so, many precautions are being taken to make sure immune systems are functioning their best and germs are being avoided like never before. Here are some signs that your immune system might be weakened:
1. You always seem to have a cold. Most adults can expect 2 or 3 colds a year and typically experience minor symptoms that are over in 7-10 days. The immune system typically takes 3-4 days to develop the antibodies to fight off those germs. However, if you constantly have a cold, or a cold that just won’t let up, it’s a clear sign your immune system needs some help.
2. Frequent infections. These are red flags you might have a possible immune deficiency: 4+ ear infections a year, having pneumonia twice in a year, chronic sinusitis or bacterial sinusitis, needing more than two antibiotics in a year.
3. You feel tired all the time. If you are constantly feeling tired and sluggish, even though you’re getting enough sleep at night, your immune system could be trying to tell you something.
4. Stomach Problems. Frequent gas, constipation, and diarrhea are all signs of a compromised immune system. Necessary gut bacteria might be low, leaving you at risk to viruses and chronic inflammation.
5. Wounds heal slowly. When you get a burn or cut, your body protects the wound by sending fresh blood to the site, helping regenerate new skin. If your immune system is slow, wounds take longer to heal since the skin can’t regenerate as quickly.
6. High-Stress levels are also known to weaken the immune system. Stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight infection. The lower your levels, the more susceptible you are to viruses.
Massage Therapy to the Rescue!
Acupressure Massage Therapy for a Low Immune System
Acupressure is an excellent preventative form of medicine, making us stronger so that we can avoid disease and correct imbalances. Acupressure boosts our qi, the vital energy that flows through our bodies and serves as the foundation for how our body functions, including the immune system.
It strengthens our digestions, the connection between gut health and immunity. Our lungs are strengthened, which in Chinese medicine is considered the first line of defence.
Finally, acupressure massage therapy settles the mind, easing the stress that weakens the immune system.
The following are helpful points to stimulate your natural defences. Apply firm but gentle pressure to the following points:
KIDNEY MERIDIAN Shu Mansion or Shu Fu - KI27
Kidney 27 (KI-27) Shu Mansion: Located on the chest, about one inch from the midline on the lower border of the collarbone, on each side. Strengthens the respiratory system and is especially good for people prone to upper respiratory infections. Opens the chest to relieve congestion, breathing difficulties, asthma, and cough.
LUNG MERIDIAN Broquen Sequence or Lieque - LU7
Lung 7 (LU-7) Broken Sequence: Find the depression in the wrist at the base of your thumb, then move two finger widths up your arm. Also repeat on your other wrist. This point strengthens the lungs, treating early symptoms of cold, flu, fever, chills, and sore throat. It also amps up the body’s resistance against seasonal bugs and viruses.
CONCEPTION VESSEL (REN MAI) Sea of Qi or Qi Hai - CV6 (REN6)
Ren 6- Sea of Qi: Located two finger widths below the naval. This point revitalizes the immune system and maintains overall good health.
STOMACH MERIDIAN Leg Three Mile / Three Miles of the Foot or Zu San Li - ST36
Stomach 36 (ST-36) Leg Three Mile: Located on the shin, about a hand length below the kneecap and just outside the tibia bone. Perform on both shins.
If this point is pressed firmly enough, it produces a strong sensation that travels down the leg.
This point strengthens the immune system and energizes the body. Helps the body to recover from fatigue.
Good to Read: Well-being in this Uncertain Time
Strengthening the Immune System
Wash your hands
Eat a balanced diet
Get enough sleep
Try your best to minimize strength
Check out below this amazing video from Brain Education TV on a simple 10-minute routine you incorporate into your weekly lifestyle to strengthen your immune system!
Missed December’s DIY Acupressure Massage Therapy: When Anxiety and Stress Attack? Read it by clicking here.
“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn
https://balancecharleston.com/blog/2020/4/5/wellness-series-part-1-7-acupressure-points-for-immune-support https://www.neurokinetics.com/immunity-acupressure/ https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320721#Other-immune-response-factors https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/immune-system-overview https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/march/weakened-immune-system
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