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The Care and Feeding Of Your Immune System 

 March 13, 2020

By  Dana LaVoie, LAc

The Care & Feeding Of Your Immune System

Your best defense against a virus is to have your own immune system working optimally.   


Your immune system was designed to handle viruses.  So love it up and have some faith in it.


Here are some simple but effective things you can do right now to help make that happen. 


In Radiant Health, also known as "health beyond danger," which is the goal of Tonic Herbalism, the focus is on Jing, Qi, Shen, and Protection.  This means strengthening all aspects of energy in your body plus using adaptogenic herbs to help you respond better and more appropriately to stresses of all kind.  

Why responding well to stress is the key

In Radiant Health, also known as "health beyond danger," which is the goal of Tonic Herbalism, the focus is on Jing, Qi, Shen, and Protection. This means strengthening all aspects of energy in your body plus using adaptogenic herbs to help you respond better and more appropriately to stresses of all kind.  


Because stress can be emotional or physical, it can be losing a loved one or running a marathon, it can hot or cold temperatures, it can be a genetic predisposition to a certain disease, or it can be a virus.  If you respond efficiently and appropriately to all the different kinds of stress that come at you in life you'll be healthy and happy - that's the the real secret.  
Responding efficiently and appropriately to the stress of a viral attack means having your immune system working optimally and using herbal antivirals or immune system support when needed.


a short aside...


So in a few months, when this virus has passed through, I'm going to email you again about getting on a Tonic Herbal Program that cares for your immune system and protects you 24/7 365 days a year to move towards Radiant Health - so you're ready for whatever comes along next.  (Like some of my patients who came to me for help with severe seasonal allergies.  We'd deal with the allergies, then I'd put then on an immune modulating program for a year or two and usually by then the immune system was reacting so much more efficiently - as in not overreacting to pollen - that their allergies no longer happened at any time of year.)

But right now I want to give you some simple tips you can use for your immune system.  There's no substitute for having supported it every day for the past couple of years.. But here's what you can do now.

#1

Do less of this

Stop doing things that weaken or compromise your immune function.  


I don't see this talked about that much but it's just as important as anything else you can do right now!

  • Decrease stress - seriously - find free tapping meditation or other guided meditation or deep breathing exercises on YouTube and do them 10 minutes twice a day!
  • Avoid sugar
  • Limit alcohol
  • Avoid foods you're allergic to or don't digest well to improve your digestive function.  (A healthy gut is really important to your immune system.)

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For this next part - of course be sure to check with your doc or pharmacist to make sure nothing here will interfere with a health issue or medication you've already got on board - but consider these: 

#2

Do more of this

Start doing things to support your immune system to help prevent infection


1.

Herbs:  My favorite herbal immune system support is a combination of both of these

  • Mushrooms (like chaga, reishi, cordyceps, agaricus)
  • and Astragalus
  • 2.

    Combined with some other supplements
    These are my basic go-tos, consider including them all!

  • Probiotics - incredibly important for immune system function!
  • Vitamin C - Yes good old Vitamin C can help but it works best if it's taken before exposure to a virus so use it as part of your preventative regimen.  As much as 2000 twice a day (if you reach bowel tolerance, which means get loose stools - decrease your dose immediately) 
  • Vitamin D - coming out of winter many of us have not gotten enough sun lately to keep our Vitamin D levels high enough and this is REALLY IMPORTANT for immune system function
  • 3.

    Essential Oils 

    Essential oils.  Most essential oils have antiviral properties!  And you'll find blends that are specially designed for protection like the 

    • On Guard blend from Doterra
    • Thieves blend from Young Living or  
    • Protect or Immunity Boost blends from Revive-EO are all great.  

    The KEY HERE is to use high quality essential oils. I like the 3 brands listed above - get the best quality oils you can - it makes ALL the difference.  Many blends of the highest quality will also will be approved for internal use, which means you can put them in water as a gargle or make them into a tea


    How to use essential oils

    Using a very small amount (like one drop) more often is often better than ever using a whole lot of oils at once - they're VERY concentrated! 

    1. Diffuse them in your home or work environment.  
    2. Put a couple drops on your scarf to "diffuse" them around your head when you go out
    3. Rub a drop or two onto your hands and feet morning and evening
    4. Rub a drop between your palms during the day a kind of hand sanitizer immunity boost combined
    5. Inhale deeply right from the bottle through your nose and mouth
    6. Make a tea.  Place 1 - 4 drops in a mug with a little milk (any kind of milk or cream will do) then add hot water.  I find a touch of honey or a few drops of stevia makes it completely delicious.  Or place 1 - 2 drops in a glass of water.  Don't overdo it with this - a little goes a long way (1 drop is as strong as 28 cups of herbal tea approximately!)


    4.

    Chinese Medicinal Herbs:  There are lots of great Chinese herbal formulas for support at each stage of a possible upper or lower respiratory infection from the first sign of scratchy throat to phlegm or dry cough.  Work with an herbalist to find the right formula of the highest quality at the right time for you.

    So where does that leave us? 

    Use these tips to support your immune system and protection against any kind of virus.  


    Questions?  Comments?  Let's chat!  Put your comments in the comments are below, and join me on Facebook for a live video chat each week about what's going on here on the blog. 


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    This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment.  For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/

    Dana LaVoie, LAc


    Hi, I'm Dana, an Acupuncturist & Herbalist with over 15 years' experience specializing in women's health. I'm here to show you how to use customized Chinese Herbs supported by the best diet and lifestyle for your hormones to feel amazing during & after menopause.

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