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  • Writer's pictureJan Johnson

Six tips for keeping your immune system healthy

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

New Year

A time with a huge emphasis on the word ‘NEW’. New beginning, new job, new diet, new fitness regime… new you! We are encouraged (I even feel we are expected by the onslaught of the media) to ditch our old selves and reinvent a new improved, super-human version. As the celebratory fireworks fade, we emerge into this brave new world full of hope and good intentions.

I have missed Christmas. It just didn’t happen for the Johnsons. ‘How is it possible to miss Christmas?’ I hear you cry! Well, I don’t want to moan, but neither Mr J or I have been well. Nothing serious, but a nasty virus has laid us completely flat for a few weeks. Naturally my thoughts have centred on my health (or lack of it). I thought I was leading a fairly healthy lifestyle and yet my immune system has faltered. I hate to let clients down who are relying on me for their regular reflexology sessions, so the new-born 2019 is a good time to focus on a little self-help.

Our immune system is under attack all the time, especially at this time of year. Colds and flu abound. The body’s natural defence, a network of organs, tissues and cells which mobilise to repel invaders or antigens. A healthy immune system is amazing at keeping us healthy, so how can we repay the compliment and keep it healthy?

  1. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. A good diet is essential to ensure the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals which support and strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C is especially important and found in fruit such as citrus, kiwi and pineapple.

  2. Boost your daily sunshine. We can get some vitamin D from our food and it is also provided by the sun. A daily walk can top up your vitamin D levels which when too low, can affect your immune health and is also associated with depression.

  3. Take more exercise. Yes, I know it’s New Year and you are going to restart your lapsed gym membership. Well that would be brilliant! Don’t feel impelled however. Your walk in the sunshine is already helping. You could add to this by taking the stairs more often or even some vigorous vacuuming! Daily exercise keeps our circulation healthy and helps to reduce stress which is really not a friend of the immune system.

  4. Reduce your stress. While I’m on the subject of stress, make a conscious effort to relax by doing whatever helps you. Doing a creative activity, yoga, mindfulness, fishing, reading. The secret is to make time for yourself. Find out how reflexology can be beneficial to alleviating the symptoms of stress.

  5. Go to bed early. Getting enough sleep is so important. It is recommended that we aim to sleep for around 8 hours a night. Tempting though it is to watch one more episode of your favourite series or flick through your social media posts again, your immune system needs you to sleep for it to function optimally.

  6. Drink plenty of water. I am constantly asking my clients if they are drinking enough water and offering them glasses at every opportunity. Water is the elixir of life, flushing out toxins and waste, transporting oxygen and helping to produce lymph and digest food.

How reflexology can help beat our winter ills

The reflexes of the lymphatic and immune system are mapped on the feet, hands and ears. Applying pressure and using other techniques to these reflexes brings balance and helps to eliminate toxins. By working problem areas during a viral infection, such as nose, throat, sinuses and lungs, symptoms may be alleviated.

There we are. A new healthy diet, a new exercise plan and plenty of reflexology. I aim to help, treasure and respect my immune system into the New Year and beyond, and I hope that you will join me.

Happy New You!

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