Immune Boosters - 2.0
There are plenty of ways to boost your immune system without needing to buy vitamins and supplements, whether it is an easy at-home remedy, a lifestyle modification or a few simple dietary changes.
The first way I will mention is by altering your bathing routine. Using a dry skin brush before getting in the shower is an easy addition to your shower regimen. By starting at your extremities and lightly brushing upward along your limbs towards your heart, you are stimulating your lymphatic system to flush out toxins. After you finish brushing, hop in the shower for some hydrotherapy. Alternate between hot and cold water temperatures, ending on cold. It may not be fun, but it is effective.
Sweating is key when you are feeling under the weather. Stay active and keep exercising, Lethargy is a microbe’s playground, so don’t fall prey to the typical lazy callings of colder weather. Even better, if you have access to a sauna or steam room, use it! Break up your time in the heat to fifteen minute increments, to avoid overheating. Take a minute or two to hop in a cold shower and take a sip of water, then get back in the heat to continue your detox. After each workout session or visit to the sauna and/or steam room, make sure to replenish your body with electrolytes, to maintain proper balance.
Piggybacking off of the steam concept is to make your own "steam inhalation" at home. You will need a large bowl, a favorite essential oil and a bath towel for this at-home helper. First you fill the bowl with warm to hot water. Next add 2-4 drops of essential oils. Now (carefully) lean over the bowl and draw the towel over your head, neck and shoulders. Allow the steam to rise and gently open up your airways. My favorite essential oils are eucalyptus, bergamot, lemongrass, oregano and thyme. Thieves Oil is another popular antiseptic combination of oils including eucalyptus cinnamon, closer, lemon and rosemary.
Another classic is the saltwater gargle. If you are wanting to get super fancy, you can use the pink Himalayan salt for added mineral content. While we are on the topic of saline rinses... for those of you brave souls, there is always the Netti Pot. This is a direct way of targeting the sinuses to literally flush out the mucus build up and decrease the uncomfortable buildup of pressure that can lead to headaches, difficulty breathing as well as sleeping.
And lastly, my favorite… sleep. When you are fighting off an impending bacterial or viral infection, your body craves rest. That restful period is what allows your body to direct all of its energy towards recruiting all of the immune cells, like white blood cells, Natural Killer cells and T-helper cells!
All in all... sleep, sweat, hydration and saline rinses are all super easy at home tricks to employ when you are feeling crappy. Please fell free to share other tips and tricks that have helped you in the past!