Spirituality and the Immune System
How is your immune system’s health?
This has become an important question with the Coronavirus in the news right now. Individuals who have a compromised immune system are at risk for the virus being dangerous; those with a healthy immune system may or may not get sick and will yet most likely fight it off.
Throughout my ministry I have had a keen interest in the relationship between what we think about, our spiritual life and our physical health. With this interest, I have been a long time student of building immune health, body mind and spirit. I am not a medical doctor, but I continue to have conversations with my own personal doctor team, I have numerous friends in the field of medicine, and I read like a crazy lady.
This past week my phone has been actively ringing with friends and clients afraid of the Coronavirus and so I am putting what I have learned about building long term health into this short blog. This is what I know:
- Eat and drink fresh greens as much as possible. Dr. Gundry in The Plant Paradox has a wonderful green drink that I drink when I am doing a cleanse.
- Eliminate sugar from your diet, or dramatically reduce it. It causes inflammation in the system. There is no nutritional benefit to sugar and there are great alternatives if you desire something sweet.
- Plants have a healing energy within them. Kathy Gould of SW Herbs is known to say “plants are here to love us.” Consulting a
local herbalist for building long-term immune health is a worthwhile proposition. Plus drinking lots of tea is fun.
- Eliminate most or all chemicals from your routine. Use natural alternatives like essential oils, vinegar, baking soda, pumice stones, as much as possible. Google “natural alternatives to …..” and try something new.
- Move your body often. Circulation is good. Being outdoors is even better. The research on the power of Vitamin D from the sun is plentiful and nature has a way of grounding us and providing fresh air nutrients to restore the body.
- Remove from your inner circle anyone who depletes your energy after you’ve spent time with them. You can place them in your “see occasionally” outer circle; but if you do, be willing to excuse yourself as soon as you feel the drain happening. It is now known that emotional drainers impact one’s physical health negatively.
- Happiness elongates life; some studies say as much as 10 years. If you aren’t happy in your intimate relationship, work, or where you live seriously consider making a change.
- How you think is important and one of the single most important factors in well-being. Optimists live longer than pessimists and are much more fun to be around. Links of thinking to health are well described in Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book Biology of Belief, Caroline Myss’ book Anatomy of Spirit and Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can. My new favorite book is Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin M.D.
- Spiritual fortification in the form of attending church or being involved in a spiritual community extends one’s life, feels good, and can establish healthy long term relationships. Being active in a community of your choice can result in vitality.
- Prayer heals and helps. During the flu outbreak of 1917 Dr. Ernest Holmes and his brother Fenwick Holmes opened a sanitarium in Los Angeles and prayed for those with the flu. 100 percent of those prayed for, lived.
- Touch is a good thing. I personally am getting nervous about this message of not touching each other with this pandemic. As human beings we need touch to survive and thrive. For some people the handshake during the day or the hug at church are the only touch they get. If you have limited touch in your life, be sure to see a massage therapist, a Reiki master, someone in the healing arts who will touch you.
As I mentioned in number 8; I am appreciating the work of Lissa Rankin, MD’s Mind Over Medicine right now. I was particularly moved by an intake form she created for her patients after she realized that the traditional “health history” form didn’t get to the dis-ease in an individual’s life. I am going to share the questions with you here as they are one’s I’ve been journaling about for myself:
- Is anything keeping you from being your most authentic, vital you? If so, what is holding you back?
- What do you love and celebrate about yourself?
- What’s missing from your life?
- What do you appreciate about your life?
- Are you in a romantic relationship? If so, are you happy? If not, do you wish you were?
- Are you fulfilled by work?
- Do you feel you are in touch with your life purpose?
- Do you feel sexually satisfied, either with a partner or by yourself?
- Do you express yourself creatively? If so, how? If not, do you feel creatively thwarted, like there’s something within you dying to come out?
- Do you feel financially healthy or is money a stressor in your life?
- If your fairy godmother could change one thing about your life, what would you wish for?
- What rules do you follow that you wish you could break?
- What do you think might lie at the root of your illness?
- What does your body need in order to heal?
All terrific questions. The shaman’s have a diagnosis for individuals who are sick because they aren’t living out THEIR own life. They are living a life not aligned with what generates joy. They are in the wrong work or wrong relationship. If this is you, make a change.
As we talk about living, aliveness, and pandemics, it is a good time to stop and make an assessment with your Soul. If you are off track, what can you do to become on track? And, if you have stopped meditating, giving, serving and praying maybe it is time to re-engage?
How blessed you and I are to be on this planet in this time in history. We are awake to being spiritual beings expressing as energy, spirit, mind and body and our brothers and sisters have dedicated their lives to be of service to us in these areas, so we are well supported.
Next blog I will share a prayer for health. In the meanwhile, take deep breaths when you need them and pray often.
Reverend Bonnie is doing free daily meditations on Facebook, Monday through Fridays, for the month of March. You are invited to enjoy these practices. https://www.facebook.com/bonnieannebarnard/