What is the hardest working system in the human body? Arguably, it might just be our immune systems. Our immune systems work every second of every day fighting and eradicating potential microbial threats that consistently bombard us. There are approximately 10 to the 28th power of microbial insults that we have the potential to come into contact with. That is a tremendous amount of microorganisms that our immune systems have to protect and defend us against.
Our immune systems are divided into two parts: The innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system's primary mode of action is to "swallow the bad guys". The cells of the innate immune system include macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, and mast cells. The adaptive immune system consists of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. This part of the immune system adapts to all of the immune challenges that we are exposed to. We each have approximately one trillion lymphocytes (10 to the 12th power). T lymphocytes consist of the killer T cells and the B lymphocytes consist of the antibodies, Ig (immunoglobulins),
The Immunoglobulins (Ig) determine if something is foreign and the toll receptors determine if something is dangerous. Once something is determined to be dangerous than the primary immune response starts, which can take 5-7 days to begin. A secondary immune response occurs if the immune system recognizes the bad guy from a previous encounter and takes two days to start.
Self-tolerance is a very important aspect of our immune systems. It is the choice that the immune cells make not to react to our own tissues or our own cells. Autoimmune issues develop when self-tolerance is not functioning properly.
Vaccines work with the immune response, and are a controversial topic that I often get asked about in my practice by patients. Each one of us has very different immune systems and this plays a huge role, whether a vaccine will work or not. Whether a vaccine works or not can be dependent on the Th1 and Th2 cells of the individual. A certain percentage of the population may be able to assimilate a vaccine and promote an immune response, but another percentage of the population may react adversely because their immune systems aren't prepared to deal with this bombardment. This is why we hear of many reactions from vaccines. Not everything works for every individual. There is a danger in a one size fits all approach to treating people. This is true for a vaccine, herbs, antibiotics, vitamins etc.
Many people become chronically ill from microbial imbalances like parasites, spirochetes, rickettsia, protozoa, fungus, viruses and bacteria, because their immune system doesn't recognize the microbe as foreign, but may think it is part of itself (non-recognition). Non-recognition is the reason cancer can be difficult to treat, because the immune system doesn't recognize certain cancers as abnormal, so tumors grow out of control. Many modern organisms have learned to adapt to our immune systems and have outsmarted our own defenses.
Immunotherapy is defined as, supporting the immune system to specifically encourage or discourage a certain type of immune response. Its primary purpose is to give the immune system the greater ability to protect against dangerous insults.
Many different mushrooms have been researched and studied to have profound benefits to the immune system. Cordyceps has been studied and observed to restore a balance of Th1 lymphocytes. Coriolus versicolor has been researched to have several anti-cancer properties, by helping the immune system. Shitake mushrooms contain beta glucans and Ahcc. Beta glucans have been studied and shown to induce protective Th1 immune response. Ahcc has been shown to have positive effects on dendritic cells and natural killer cell response. Reishi has been researched and found to help with NF-kappa beta signaling.
Vitamins A and D have been researched to have a substantial impact on the up regulation of the T cell's honing response. Many microbial infections and food sensitivities (nightshades or solanine sensitivity) have been observed to affect the vitamin D receptor and inactivate it. If specific infections are present they will cause vitamin D levels to become low in the body. Vitamin D supplementation may be important for these particular cases.
Vitamin C also has a strong effect on the T cell response. This is why higher dosages of vitamin C (ingesting every hour) can help to defeat a cold quicker.
Other ways to strengthen the immune response are through sound and body work. These are two practices you can do to stimulate the immune system.
2 specific areas on the body help to stimulate the immune system and immune response. The first one is half way between each nipple and armpit (slightly closer to the armpit). This is a neurolymphatic point for the thymus gland and this point directly stimulates the immune system. Rub in a circular motion for a minute at a time with firm pressure. You can do this once a day for maintenance or every hour if getting sick.
The second point is at the base of the neck. When you touch the base of your neck, you will notice a vertebrae that is sticking out slightly more than the other vertebrae (the vertebral prominens). Take two fingers or your cupped palm and with moderate pressure tap this area.
The sound "HAY" is a vibrational sound that stimulates the immune response. By standing in place, put your arms up over your head on a diagonal, with open palms facing upward, breathe in deeply and breathe out and chant "haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy", until the breathe is completely let go. Do this three times at a time. This sound strengthens the immune system and can be done every day!!
Practices such as chi gong, yoga, chiropractic care, acupuncture, lymphatic massage, and energy work like Reiki, also stimulate the immune response.
Dr. Louis Granirer is a Holistic Chiropractor in NYC who specializes in helping patients overcome autoimmune disease complications with holistic and natural remedies. Learn more by visiting his website at: www.holisticchiropracticcenter.com