Part 2: Your TWO Immune Systems
What has become clear to me (and Chinese Medicine as a whole) over the years is that Autoimmune diseases are NOT well understood by Conventional Medicine. The common thinking is that the body is “turning against itself” for some puzzling, unknown reason. Oftentimes I believe that pathogens, e.g. mercury, inflammatory proteins created by GMO foods, stress hormones, etc. are physically present. The immune system is attacking them, but our healthy cells are caught in the cross fire. Although we can’t SEE these pathogens with our current technology, just as you may not see the fleas on your dog or cat, they can still be there causing havoc!
YOU HAVE TWO IMMUNE SYSTEMS:
- Cellular Immunity: This is also referred to as our Innate Immune system. It is cellular intelligence which forms opinions about and strategies to deal with pathogens, and it is passed on “forever”. Cells have to go to “school” in the thymus and other organs to get the smarts to do this.
- Extra-Cellular Immunity (outside the cell): Also referred to as the Adaptive Arm of your Immune System, this form of immunity is generally described as being created outside the cell, e.g. by injecting anti-bodies. In that form, it is not as powerful as Cellular Immunity “smarts”, and being introduced from the outside, it can have negative consequences. Also, it doesn’t “last” forever, like the Cellular level. Booster shots are required.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE POWER OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM via an amazing video.
Warning: This video series is addictive. It kept us up until 2:00 am one night! The Inner Life of a Cell
Here are a few interesting and very actionable solutions to help anyone with Autoimmune Conditions. Note: This is only a Taste of what’s available. There is so much more!
THE BREATH OF LIFE
Humans can’t go longer than about 4 minutes without oxygen. But do we REALLY understand the power of breath? Let’s explore for a minute:
#1 Breathing is our bodies’ number 1 detox method. We have 4 mechanisms for ridding ourselves of toxins. Most people think of urination, bowel movements and sweat. But in truth, our breath carries out the most volume of toxins. Pretty smart, Mother Nature; we HAVE to breathe constantly, so that path is a ready vehicle for trash removal.
#2 Oxygenation is KEY, key, key, key for our immune system and overall health. This is one of the reasons exercise is so good for us. We breathe faster and more deeply when we exercise. We don’t consciously think of this because our autonomic nervous system just does it for us, but our cells demand a certain level of oxygen in order to remain healthy. When we don’t breathe adequately, we become tired. We start to hurt. Cells begin to mutate and become cancerous. And lots more goes wrong.
If you know this is an area to improve in your own life, pick your favorite way(s) to increase your breathing: Go dancing, take 20-minute walks or hikes, exercise at the gym, take a yoga class, do some deep breathing exercises for 20 minutes. Do these things daily for your best health.
FOODS THAT HEAL
Last month’s article introduced the topics of probiotics and prebiotics. But since there is a direct link between most illnesses and any immune system issues, your gut is always an area to investigate and upgrade. This is true if you have immune problems…and also if you want to keep yourself as healthy and young as long as possible. Get any or all of these into your body every day: Probiotic capsules/drinks; Cultured Veggies, Kefir, and Kombucha.
This month let’s explore some specific foods that help the gut and the brain. These two organs are connected via the Vegas Nerve, so what is happening in either of them is reflective. If you have inflammation or nerve damage in your brain (most autoimmune conditions do), your gut is likely a smoking gun.
- Cilantro – master of mercury. “Eat this herb every day for life.” So says Jeff Primack, the author of Conquering Any Disease, a book we carry at our clinic with protocols we use and teach. Why cilantro? Because we live in a world filled with poisons and chemicals. We need to detox big time! Cilantro has been used successfully to remove mercury and lead from people suffering from heavy metal poisoning. Blend it in a smoothie every day. Put it on salads. Add it to guacamole. Just do it.
- Asparagus to the rescue. Like cilantro, which has the most, asparagus has a phytochemical called glutathione. This amazing molecule actually binds to mercury and heavy metals inside the liver. You must have good bowel movements, because that’s the exit point from the liver. (Need help with bowel movements? Well, we have some real suggestions for you in that area too!)
- Raw, Dark Chocolate is a brain food, and it is also a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria in your intestines). This is one of the highest antioxidant, anti-inflammatory foods. Include the raw powders in a smoothie every day. Take a small amount of dark chocolate every day. You want the RAW kind. Ask us about the one we carry when you are curious about a quality, tasty, reasonably-priced product. This type of chocolate isn’t candy. It’s medicinal.
- Turmeric – this high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory spice is one of the most powerful foods in support of the immune system. There are many studies validating this. The challenge is to get enough of that strong spice into your system. We have our own experiential evidence from the many patients we have seen be helped with medical-grade, turmeric extracts we carry. One of the things I like about a strong curcuminoid (an extract of Turmeric) is how quickly it often takes effect. It seems faster than many herbal medicines and foods. Instead of 3-8 weeks, we often see results in days. Less inflammation leads to less pain, less pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the brain, etc.
Now let’s wrap back around to some of the causes of Autoimmunity and you’ll see how these foods are among those which help…
VACCINATIONS – DO THEY CAUSE AUTOIMMUNITY?
There is a huge debate on this issue. One thing is certain, and that is that vaccines have caused damage and death just as they have saved lives. My issue with this is that we are ignoring and, in fact, weaking our own immune systems by overuse of vaccines.
Our government has a website with a Vaccine Injury Table. And, in fact, there is an injury payment system, albeit a difficult, lengthy, and not always helpful process for those who are injured. Check it out.
Just a few of the conditions our government acknowledges may be caused by injecting foreign viruses into human bodies are: anaphylactic shock, brachial neuritis (serious breathing issues), brain damage, polio from the polio vaccine, paralysis, and lots of “injury”, whatever that means, and of course, death. The rising incidents of autoimmune conditions being associated with vaccines is notable. Among them, in one science review I read, were Type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis.
What both sides in this argument agree about vaccinations causing harm is this: A catalyst and a genetic predisposition kick off Autoimmune conditions. One highly-suspicious catalyst may be mercury or aluminum in vaccines. And they are not there just to create shelf life for the vaccines. These heavy metals are intentionally put inside vaccines to excite the immune system to attack the virus or bacteria being injected. Mercury and aluminum in the body are true poisons, after all. The immune system will respond.
WHAT ELSE CAN CAUSE AUTOIMMUNITY?
Other catalysts for autoimmune conditions include:
- Emotional Trauma & Physical Trauma – Seriously abused children are at risk for MS according to a case-controlled study in 2012, as reported on Web-MD
While each of these causes could be a whole article, I want to simply note for purposes of this writing that what we think and experience as emotions which last longer than 20 minutes can and often do cause illness. Yes, emotional trauma causes illness just as much…sometimes more…than physical trauma. Whatever we think AND FEEL repeatedly, we bathe our brain and body in chemicals of that emotion or emotions.
- Infections – Guillain-Barre syndrome can be caused by bacterial and viral vaccines. And there are more such examples.
- Environmental Toxins – The environmental toxins are not just the obvious poisons like Roundup or Agent Orange. (BTW, it is now lawful in the U.S. for the biotech companies to insert Agent Orange into the DNA of our food plants as part of Genetic Modification. Roundup isn’t strong enough for the super weeds anymore.) And the damaging toxins could even be in your makeup! I know someone personally who discovered their makeup was causing their autoimmune illness. A few weeks after she stopped using it, her symptoms began to subside. She was lucky it didn’t go on too long. Her body was able to recover with healing nutrition and the reduced stress from knowing she could control the cause of her illness.
IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS
Personally, I know enough about and have great faith in our bodies’ natural healing abilities. From a Chinese Medicine standpoint, Conventional Medicine often misses the obvious when it comes to chronic conditions. I also understand enough about large corporate greed, influence and power to realize that much of what goes on in our nation’s medical industry, sadly, often has nothing to do with healing. If you are reading this far down the article, you already know this: We are our own best doctors…and literally…we can supply our body with enough healing agents via our foods, exercise and the thoughts we think/emotions we feel to heal ourselves of many conditions!
Next month’s article will cover more of the TURN-AROUND STRATEGIES for Autoimmune Diseases. There is hope. It isn’t always a total cure, but creating a better life for many is well worth the investigation and the work.
This article is #2 in a series of three. Click below to see the others:
Autoimmunity, the Perfect Storm, Part 1: What’s Germinating in Your Gut?
Autoimmunity, the Perfect Storm, Part 3: Natural Solutions to Treat and Reverse Autoimmune Disease
To Your Health,
Dr. David & Deb Martin and Staff