3 Self-Care Routines to Kickstart Your Immune Resilience
Spring is a time of renewal, but for some people, it can also bring allergy symptoms and other health issues.
As the budding energy of spring awakens our senses to new growth, our immune system rapidly shifts into overdrive. Think watery eyes, sneezing, and so forth. Having our immune system on alert drains our body’s natural defenses, which can take a turn for the worse trying to protect us from everything we encounter.
For those accustomed to seasonal allergies, this self-care approach to head off discomfort can make a world of difference—-especially when used together with tools to reduce inflammation and lessen the impact of our histamine response.
Sync up with Spring
At the heart of immune resilience is the teeming microbial life inside us, called our microbiome. Microbial colonies live in our respiratory tract, on our skin, and inside our gut. Each is somewhat distinct and has a host of responsibilities that include picking apart the food we eat inside our digestive tracts, maintaining cleanliness and a pristine work environment, and managing the viscosity inside the nasal passage and lungs so that everything flows smoothly. The daily tasks these microbes undertake is simplest when their supply of nutrients, for example, is repetitive and consistent.
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During disease, the microbial terrain shifts to an imbalanced state. This would be evident with conditions as diverse as acid reflux, periodontal disease, or even asthma. Think of these as opportunities to redress seasonal imbalances, and start examining for hidden areas of decay and neglect. Did a pattern of excess develop over the long winter months then contribute to a hyperacidic stomach environment this spring? What about having been sealed up indoors? Those same dank and musty corners of our bodies need clearing out to remove the onset of unwanted molds and pathogens. Think of Spring as a time for gentle cleaning of the airways and major organ systems of the body. Look to lubricate and nourish the mucosa while increasing the release of toxins via the body’s lymphatic systems.
It’s no secret that an increase in daylight is great for brain health and mood, as studies have shown the relationship between shift work and poorer health. Lack of daylight causes seasonal affective disorders in college students, and depression itself is higher in winter months. What we do know is that during the roughly 16 waking hours our brains create a buildup of a chemical called adenosine. The accumulation of adenosine throughout the day gives that “weighted” feeling before bed, or the physical feeling of “I have to go to sleep”. It is the sleep process that clears out the adenosine pool each day. This is a time when the body is more “parasympathetic”, or relaxed. Developing sleep hygiene can prepare the body for sleep, where the brain is able to detoxify and recharge the next day.
The teachings and practices of Functional Medicine will support body and brain health in the midst of seasonal change.
Spring is the perfect time to promote better health by syncing up to the rhythms that these microflora enjoy: waking up a bit earlier with the sun, stretching out the body with some gentle movement, and developing steady eating habits, filled throughout the day with lots of plant matter and fiber. It is also a perfect time to practice self-care and develop renewed circadian rhythms.
Dr. Doug Pucci, Founder, Pucci Wellness, is a functional medicine expert in practice for 30+ years. He was honored in 2020 to receive both The Best Of 2020 Awards for Functional Medicine in Oradell, NJ, and entry into Trademark Publications’ Who’s Who Directory, Honors Edition, for his pioneering work. He provides comprehensive testing for health biomarkers, advanced discovery into brain+body well-being and personalized nutrition for a diversity of people and symptoms. To speak with an expert and learn more about how functional medicine, neurology & nutrition can help you get back on track, book a time to chat.