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Keeping up my immunity
What is immunity?
Over the last few months we have been experiencing a critical period with COVID-19. We are encouraged to wear masks and use hand sanitiser daily (even though this cannot replace washing your hands with soap and water). However, we do not necessarily have many explanations about how our immune system works. In brief, the human immune response is our most important defence against illness, and human survival is largely dependent on this system for fighting a number of pathogenic microorganisms, including viruses.
Furthermore, even though there are ways of boosting your immunity, we must not forget that anyone can strengthen their immune system "naturally" in a few days or a few weeks. Clearly, this would not stop the virus from spreading but it would help to reduce the proportion of serious cases and shorten the recovery time.
In this article, you will learn our tips to help you to stay healthy and take care of yourself and those around you naturally on a day-to-day basis. Physical activity, food, sleep - there are many ways of achieving a healthier lifestyle and making your natural defences more effective against viruses. Bear in mind that your body is your main machine for healing!
1. Get enough sleep!
As you well know, sleep is an important ally of our health, maybe more so than you think. Our hormone levels peak when we are sleeping and the essential growth hormone for our immune system peaks around 2 to 3 o'clock in the morning. This means it's best to go to bed at a regular time, not too late, and avoid disruptions in order to get a good night's sleep. It has been demonstrated that if someone who hasn't been getting enough sleep catches the flu virus, they are more likely to fall ill than someone who does get enough sleep.
Did you know that:
- Less than five hours' sleep a night on a regular basis is associated with increased mortality.
- Less than seven hours' sleep for three consecutive nights has the same effect on the body as missing a full night's sleep.
- Even though the amount of sleep needed differs according to each individual, doctors recommend getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
- Essential oils can be a real ally in getting a good night's sleep. Preferably opt for those with an aroma you like: Mandarin, Sweet orange, Lavender or even Chamomile. If you don't have a diffuser, you could vaporise the Aromanoctis sleep spray, made using essential oils of Chamomile, Mandarin and Petit grain bigarade.
2. Drink water!
Water is so important that it has a positive effect on your immunity. Water is also vital for eliminating toxins from the body. Therefore, drinking more water helps to prevent toxins from accumulating and having a negative impact on your immune system.
If you're not a fan of water, why not drink water with lemon juice? Lemon is known to strengthen immunity and improve the body's defences, which means that you develop fewer illnesses.
3. Take a break to wind down
A recent French study led by Sophie Ugolini, Inserm research director at the Aix-Marseille immunology centre, shows that stress, tiredness and overexertion weaken the immune system. Cortisol, the hormone generated when we are stressed, paralyses the cells of our immune system. You've probably already noticed that we fall ill more often after a stressful episode... Gardening, yoga, going for a walk, dinner with friends or a romantic meal, or simply not doing anything and taking time out for yourself! All these activities are vital for our health. What counts is having these moments to relax and enjoy.
4. Take part in regular physical activity
We can never say it enough, sporting activity is essential for your health! Sport boosts our immune system by creating greater stimulation of lymphocytes, macrophages and antibodies, and makes us less vulnerable to viruses, according to Bénédicte Le Panse, doctor of physiology. Health professionals recommend doing between 30 and 60 minutes of sport two to three times a week at medium intensity.However, be careful not to do too much, as overly extended intense exercise can have the reverse effect and weaken the immune system.
If you're not very "sporty", a few everyday gestures will get you to exercise without even realising it: don't take the lift, park slightly further away from where you work and only use the car for the longest journeys, and instead opt for a bike or get your trainers on!
Slight pain in your muscles and joints? The Aromalgic range is specially designed to provide relief thanks to essential oils of Corn mint, Wintergreen, Copaiba, French lavender and Star anise.
5. Abdominal breathing and yoga
Recent studies have proven that yoga is quickly effective in strengthening the immune system. Whether you go for yoga, tai chi or meditation, all these disciplines that encourage deep breathing will do you the world of good! These practices effectively strengthen the immune system for several reasons:
- Practising yoga helps to stimulate your lymphatic system, which works to eliminate toxins and waste to keep your immune system in good shape.
- You sleep better.
- It reduces stress and this is a very important factor as we know that a high level of anxiety can be responsible for weakening the immune system.
Like yoga, aromatherapy can help both body and mind! Certain essential oils like Himalayan nard or even Incense are ideal for meditation. So get to your mat!
6. Have a balanced, varied and high quality diet
Quick top for topping up on vitamin C
Make orange or lemon juice at breakfast to stay on form and energised all day long! And if you're feeling braver, eating yellow pepper in the morning gives you an even bigger shot of vitamins!
The detox cure is also a good way of eliminating toxins from your body and this supports your overall health. Want to know more? Read the blog article "the natural detox cure".
After we watch a comedy, the activity of various immunity markers such as NK cells and antibodies increases, with an effect that can last up to 12 hours. With a marked rise in immunoglobulin A, vital in fighting respiratory diseases. In fact, laughing makes us secrete neurotransmitters, which benefit not just the immune system but the cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems as well. The problem? We're laughing less and less. Compared with 20 minutes a day 60 years ago, we now laugh for just 3 minutes. Smile regularly, surround yourself with fun people. We may still have our worries, but laughing reminds us that life is more important.
A quick tip: did you know that the smell of Lemon verbena is particularly recommended for conveying optimism? Use on the skin of the solar plexus or with a diffuser to create a relaxing atmosphere.
8. Take contrast showers
Contrast showering is a practice that will energise you in the morning and increase your resilience. The principle is simple: you start with a hot shower, very hot over your entire body, then quickly switch to cold water: right foot and right leg, left foot and left leg, right arm then left, the thighs, the stomach and if possible, the torso.
A super effective way to be and feel more energised. And therefore more resilient.