by Associate Clinician Felicia Pasquale

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The immune system is our first line of defense to protect us from getting sick. Our bodies are equipped with specific immune organs that work together to capture, destroy, and eliminate pathogens. When our immune systems are working efficiently, we won’t feel sick, even if a harmful pathogen is present. If a pathogen is too powerful for the immune system to conquer internally, it takes on a different strategy, and presents itself in the form of a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, or diarrhea, to name a few.

Although these are unpleasant symptoms, it’s a tactic your immune system will use to eject invaders as quickly as possible. No matter how healthy you are, at some point in time, you will have some type of symptoms. In fact, getting symptoms is a sign that you are healing!

In order to avoid getting sick, keep your immune system as healthy as it can be by giving it plenty of filtered water. Ideally, we recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces. Be careful to not exceed 100 ounces per day, unless you are out in the sun all day or doing excessive physical activity. Your kidneys need water to filter pathogens and toxins – they filter your blood 50 times per day. They can’t do their job if they are parched!

Eat foods that nourish your body and support the immune system, so it can do what it’s designed to do! Nourishing foods include whole foods like organic fruits and vegetables, and meats free of antibiotics or hormones. Avoid processed foods that are made from GMO (genetically modified organisms). This means foods that came from seeds that were genetically altered. The most common GMO foods are corn and soy. Check packages for the GMO project label. Products that have this label are free from GMOs. You can also go to EWG.org, Environmental Working Group, to find out more about GMO foods and how they affect you.

Change all personal care products and cleaning products to a natural variety. This includes soap, shampoo, conditioners, lotions, deodorant, makeup, hairspray, dish washer and laundry detergent.

Poor food choices and chemical products will stress and clog up the very organs that support your immune system, including the lymphatics, spleen, liver and kidneys. Keep in mind these organs are filters.

Sometimes making all these changes isn’t enough. Particularly in people that take or have taken medications, have been eating processed foods or eat out a lot, and also people that are exposed to chemicals because of their job, they will have a higher incidence of a compromised immune system.

That was me when I first came to the Well of Life Center. I didn’t really eat a lot of processed foods, but I definitely had taken a lot of medications over the course of my life. I cleaned up my diet and exposure to chemicals, but I still needed the support of supplements to cleanse my body of all the chemicals it was exposed to in the past. By getting rid of not only the chemicals, but also other stressors on my body that I was holding onto for 39 years, I was able to get rid of my allergies and asthma and many other symptoms. I know now that the cause of these two conditions was the result of my immune system being compromised. I was a person that had always been sick in the past, caught everything that was going around. I would be at the doctor numerous times over the winter with an infection of some sort, only to be put on another round of antibiotics. Antibiotics seemed to make me get better, but then I’d be sick again the next month because my immune system was shot.

This type of thing happens to people all the time. Especially in recent times because we are exposed to more chemicals than ever, whether it is in our food, water, or the air, or because we are putting it on our skin! We have EMF, electro-magnetic frequency, exposures that we didn’t have 15 to 20 years ago with the dramatic increase in electronic usage, cell phones, laptops, iPod, iPads, smart boards at school, Smart watches, and Wi-Fi pretty much everywhere you go! These frequencies do compromise our immune system.

I could tell you to wash your hands frequently, or don’t touch your face when sickness is going around. Those things do help. However, there is so much more to it than that! I could suggest that you take vitamin D to prevent getting sick. But if you aren’t digesting food properly and your kidneys and liver aren’t working optimally, your body will not assimilate that vitamin D and you are wasting your money and time.

I would suggest, however, that you drink water and eat good, solid, clean, whole foods that grow from the earth and are purchased from a produce aisle or a local farm, not the processed food aisle in the grocery store. Clean up your home from harmful cleaning products. Change all personal care products to natural ones. You will see the difference! Finally, reduce exposure to EMFs. Take a break from your phone and iPad and go outside, get your feet in the grass and ground yourself! You will feel more energized and you will also recharge your immune system.

Felicia Pasquale, NTP is an Associate Clinician at the Well of Life Center for Natural Health. The Well of Life Center is a holistic wellness center that specializes in nutrition, chiropractic, massage services, and more. Celebrating their 10th year in business, the Well of Life Center has locations in Doylestown, Bethlehem, and Ottsville, PA. For more information, please visit welloflifecenter.com.