If you read, listen or watch anything these days, you have been given clear instructions on how to avoid viruses and stay healthy. Wash your hands, wear a mask, or even just stay at home. Of course, this is a logical approach if we are facing something to which we have no natural immunity. But what about the infections and viruses that have always been in our environment? Our immune systems have an amazing ability to resist, respond and rebound from bacteria and viruses. And yes, we can develop antibodies even to a virus like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
I’m not here to give a detailed breakdown of our immune system and how it works at the cellular level.
However, I would like to reassert that our gut health and mental health have a key role to play in the strength of our immune systems.
I will never forget the moment I learned about the enteric nervous system, or the brain-gut connection. I was studying for my Level III aromatherapy certification with The School for Aromatic Studies, in fact! It was an “Aha!” moment for me. Or, more accurately, a “lightbulb” moment, as it shone a light on why my daughter had chronic stomach aches with no definable cause. Or why my digestion gets thrown off-balance when stress levels rise. I quickly realized that the brain cannot thrive if the gut is imbalanced, or vice versa. In a broader perspective, our bodies function in a truly holistic manner. No system of our body functions independently.
This realization can be overwhelming when facing a global pandemic: “How can I protect myself from viruses if I am not in perfect health, if any of my body’s systems isn’t functioning properly?” Alternatively, we can look at this from a more empowered point of view: “My body has the innate ability to correct dysfunction and heal!” Immunity is not inert or static—it is incredibly responsive to everything going on inside and outside our bodies.
So my main message when working with clients—including cancer patients—is that you have the ability to strengthen your immune system.
You have the ability to heal, or as we sometimes say, to “mind over matter it.” Believing in the amazing machine that is your body and mind is the first, and I would say most crucial, step toward health.
My message is always about taking charge of our own health with the tools we already have (but maybe forgot about!).
Join me for my class “Essential Oils for Cold and Flu,” in which I will dive into concepts and practices to help you navigate this very unique cold and flu season!