Fight That Cold! Cool Immune System Boosters

You know the feeling–the moment you put together the low energy, the scratchy throat, the tickling nose, and wonder: “Am I coming down with a cold?” In my family, when someone gets that “fighting a cold” feeling, we have some easy tricks that we use to boost our immune system and send the cold packing. They’re easy and they won’t hurt you, so give them a try next time you’re feeling “coldish.” Like most cold remedies, the earlier you start using them, the better they work.
The Healing Breath
The lymphatic system is a critical part of the immune system’s ability to defend the body against germs. You can use breathing to give your lymphatic system a boost. Here’s the technique:
a) Sit down. Start by comfortably rolling your shoulders forward a few times.
b) Take five to ten deep, slow breath into your chest, so that your shoulders and chest rise and fall.
c) If you need to stop and take a few normal breaths, do so.
d) Now take ten or more deep breaths into the lower third of your lungs–also called belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing–so that your belly expands when you breathe in and flattens naturally when you breathe out.
e) Repeat this process several times throughout the day. (If at any point you feel light-headed, just stop and resume normal breathing for a while.)
This technique works because breathing helps to pump lymphatic fluid through our lymph vessels. This particular pattern of breathing intensifies the pumping effect, accelerating lymphatic flow and its germ-fighting power. Muscular contraction also pumps lymph fluid, so taking a short, relaxing walk also supports immune system function.
Thymus Tapping
The thymus gland is a vital part of the immune system, located in the center of the upper chest, behind the sternum (or breastbone), a little below the neck. When you feel a cold coming on, use a loose fist or the fingers of one or both hands to tap your chest over your thymus. Tap for about 30 seconds to a minute, with enough force to make a “thumping” sound, but gently enough that it feels good.
Relaxing
When we’re tense and stressed–especially for a long time–it tends to suppress the immune system. So relaxing is actually one of the best things you can do to fight a cold. Cancel those appointments, shut off the TV, and turn off your phone. Sit or lie down comfortably and put on some relaxing music. Focus on your breath. Allow your breath to slow down, deepen and become regular and even. Breathe all the way into the lower third of your lungs–so that your belly rises and falls as you inhale and exhale. Breathing like this helps to shut off the stress response. Spend at least ten minutes focusing on your breath and relaxing.
Affirmations
Affirmations are a powerful way to activate the power of the mind body connection. Several times over the course of the day, repeat affirmations such as:
“My immune system keeps me in perfect health.” “My immune system is powerful and vigilant.” “I am healthy and well in body, mind and spirit. “I am in radiant good health.”
Be sure to phrase the affirmation in a positive way and in present tense. For example, say, “I am healthy,” rather than, “I will not get this cold,” or “I will fight this Vegetable Sunlight Chart cold.” You can speak or write the affirmation, or hear it in your “mind’s ear.” Repeat the affirmations at least twenty times per session. Say it like you mean it!
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Of course you should call your doctor if you have or think you have a serious illness. But to fight a cold or other minor bug, it’s nice to have some remedies that don’t require drugs or doctors. These fun, natural techniques really work for my family–either to nip a cold in the bud, or to limit its severity. I hope they work for you and yours!

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