Even before Covid-19 turned our humanity on it’s face, protecting our immunity and preventing infection or disease were already important topics of discussion in the world of health and wellness. Now that we’ve seem the devastating effects a highly contagious and deadly viral epidemic can inflict on society, we need to take a pause and consider: What’s the best way for me to protect my and my family’s health?
The answer is: Understanding what’s threatening it.
Are we more susceptible to disease now than we were in the past?
The biggest issue right now is that over the last hundred years or so, the world has massively evolved. The industrial age kicks in, technology kicks in, and as the world evolves, human evolution simply can’t keep up.
Humans can evolve, but we do so at a much slower pace than, say, the technological or industrial changes we’ve seen over the past century. Remember that the human body takes thousands of years to adapt to changes in environment, so there’s a mismatch between how fast the world is evolving and how fast we can evolve.
As a result, our lifestyle is the #1 most influential factor in the “dulling” or weakening our immune system. As our immune system dulls, the risk for serious illness and disease vastly increase.
How a weakened immune system lowers our expected life span
Let’s look at some of the leading causes of death and disease that happen in the United States today:
- Heart disease. More than 647,000 people die every year from heart disease, and even more are currently living with it.
- Cancer. About 600,000 people die each year from cancer in the US.
- Accidents and injuries.
- Respiratory diseases.
These are all what we call comorbidities, and if you have one of these, you’re more likely to be seriously affected by an illness such as Covid-19, or even the flu. You probably already know that, because it’s been talked about a lot in pandemic coverage. But here’s what you don’t hear about as much: Many of the things that contribute to these difficulties also contribute to reduced immunity.
Because the influence of comorbidity shortens our life span, and because a weakened immune system is linked to comorbidities, we can see the direct correlation between a weak immune system and lower quality of life and health, eventually resulting in serious consequences.
So what are some of the things that weaken our immune system?
- Diet. Our diets today are absolutely horrendous in the US. Too much sugar, too many processed foods, pesticides, excessive portion sizes. Once I went to a restaurant and couldn’t find anything on the menu for less than 1,000 calories! It’s no wonder so many people struggle with their weight.
- Toxins. This includes everything from pesticides and herbicides to heavy metals to even old buildings that may have contaminants like mold in them. We’re constantly exposed to toxins in our environment and those can build up.
- Antibiotics. We overprescribe antibiotics. They cause problems ranging from damaging our DNA to killing off the good bacteria in our gut. 70% of our immune system is in our gut, so when we damage that with repetitive antibiotic use, we can reduce immunity.
- Lack of exercise. We’ve become more sedentary. There are many causes—the types of jobs we do, technology making our life easier, lack of time, etc.
- Stress. We go through emotional stress, chemical stress, etc. These can contribute to depression, as well as cause the release of cortisol, which makes us more susceptible to viruses.
- Lack of sun exposure. We are photosensitive like plants. We need sunlight for immunity, making vitamin D, and other health benefits. Working indoors makes this worse.
- Poor sleep. Foundationally, improving sleep is probably the most important thing you can do for longevity, health, and immunity. I challenge everyone who tracks their sleep to see if they’re getting 7-9 hours.
But you can boost your immune system with some surprisingly easy lifestyle changes
There are many ways to deal with all these issues so you can improve your immunity. Here at Premier Wellness Centers, we put together a customized health plan for each patient based on their needs, their health goals, and their current issues.
While each patient may need a slightly different plan for their individual goals, here are some treatments we offer that are proven to boost an immune response and increasing overall mind/body health:
- NuCalm. This drug-free, natural treatment is great for stress reduction, and some people find when they have less stress, they can also sleep better.
- Massage therapy. This is another treatment that can help reduce stress, but it may also help with various aches and pains you have. When people have less pain, they may have better mobility and be able to exercise more, which in turn reduces risk of illness.
- Chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments help improve communication between the brain and body. This is another treatment that may help people recovering from various injuries or illnesses, and may reduce pain and stress and improve mobility.
- JOOV red light therapy. This helps people relax and rejuvenate, while stimulating the production of ATP—a substance that directs the function of living cells. Many people also find red light therapy improves sleep, as well.
If you’re concerned about improving your immunity, addressing some of the above factors may be helpful. Not sure where to start? We’re always happy to help here at Premier Wellness Centers. New patients can book your first appointment here, or, check out our promos page for this month’s specials to help you get in the door!
Stay safe out there, everyone, and don’t forget – we are always offering valuable introduction packages and specials at one of our two locations in Port St. Lucie. Whether you are seeking chiropractic care for an injury or ongoing wellness, post-op physical therapy, relaxing massages, or innovative mind-body wellness services and products, you can get started with us for low introductory specials and rates. Click here to learn more!
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