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Key Takeaways

  1. Harness the power of the mind-body connection to unlock the potential of your immune system!
  2. Adopting foundational tools and practices such as adequate sleep, sunshine, exercise, healthy eating, social connection, and hydration are essential for a healthy immune system.
  3. Strengthen your body's natural defense against illness and infection by understanding the 3 layer immune system.
  4. Our body has a powerful two-layered defence system that works together to protect us from invaders and infections.
  5. Maintaining a healthy microbiome along our mucus pathways is essential to strengthen our adaptive immune system and keep infections at bay.
  6. Nasal breathing can help protect our health by strengthening our nasal passageways and fighting off infection.
  7. Ensure your health by keeping your hands clean, eating fermented foods, and taking care of your overall wellbeing.
  8. Interleukin-10 plays a critical role in our body's defense system, helping to protect us from foreign invaders by reducing inflammation.
  9. Taking time to rest can help speed up recovery when feeling unwell.
  10. Sickness can lead to an adaptive response of either seeking or avoiding care, which is a natural behavior exhibited by both humans and animals.
  11. Healthy behavior is a bridge between the immune system and the nervous system, so our thoughts and actions can influence our immunity.
  12. Understand how sickness can alter our behavior to better care for ourselves and those around us.
  13. The vagus nerve sends signals to the brain to make changes in the body to fight off infection or heal injury, such as increasing body temperature, increasing sensitivity to light, and promoting sleepiness.
  14. Our body's natural response of releasing humoral factors in times of sickness can be powerful, yet can also temporarily impair our memory and cognition.
  15. By elevating our feet and increasing serotonin levels through tryptophan or 5-HTP along with self-hypnosis, we can unlock the power of our body's natural healing capabilities to help us stay healthy and recover more quickly.
  16. Taking a hot shower or sauna followed by a cool-down period can help boost white blood cell production and combat infection, but caution should be taken if there is a fever present.
  17. Eating food during a fever helps the body fight off the infection, while fasting can increase the adrenaline in the brain and body to boost the body's defence system.
  18. Engaging our sympathetic nervous system through breathwork can help us combat infection, enhancing our immune system function".
  19. Harnessing the power of the mind-body connection can help us better manage our physical and mental health.
  20. Our thoughts have the power to influence our physical health, so be mindful of what you think.
  21. Hope and dopamine can be used to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
  22. Spirulina has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in the relief of cold symptoms and helping to tackle the underlying cause.
  23. Spirulina is a natural remedy that can help people with seasonal allergies and has a logical scientific explanation behind it.
  24. Stimulating nerve endings in the fascia with acupuncture can reduce inflammation by triggering a chain of neural reactions that release anti-inflammatory hormones.
  25. By combining ancient practices with modern science, we can create effective and accessible treatments for immunological and neurological diseases.

Podcast Notes

Unveiling the Mind-Body Connection to Control the Immune System

  • Today, our focus is the immune system and how the nervous system can be used to control it.
  • We now understand that the mind is able to influence the immune system.
  • There are many studies showing this and just this week, a paper was published in Nature which demonstrated that acupuncture can reduce inflammation.
  • Fascia, which is a tissue surrounding our muscles, is found to be connected to the adrenal medulla and can be used to activate the immune system.
  • We'll be discussing various methods to control the immune system and enhance its function.

The Path to a Healthier and Stronger Immune System

  • Having a healthy immune system is essential for mental and physical wellbeing.
  • To achieve this, there are several foundational tools and practices which must be adopted.
  • Firstly, getting adequate sleep and having a consistent sleep schedule is essential for our cells to be expressed and functioning correctly.
  • Secondly, we must get sunshine in our eyes in the morning and evening to set our rhythm.
  • Thirdly, exercising for 150-180 minutes a week helps maintain physical health.
  • Fourthly, eating well and avoiding processed foods is also important.
  • Fifthly, staying socially connected and hydrated is key.
  • Lastly, there are additional practices which leverage the nervous system, to help further enhance the immune system.
  • Following these practices will lead to a healthier and stronger immune system.

Unlock the Strength of Your Immune System

  • The immune system is the body's defense against illness and infection.
  • It works in three layers.
  • The first layer is the skin and mucous, which act as a physical barrier to protect us from outside invaders.
  • The second layer is the innate immune system, which is a fast response to any foreign particles that enter our body.
  • It triggers the release of antibodies and killer cells to fight the infection.
  • Lastly, the adaptive immune system is the body's long-term defense.
  • It remembers past invaders and has the ability to recognize and fight off future ones.
  • All together, the immune system works to keep us healthy and protected from any harm.

Uncovering The Secrets of Our Body's Innate Immune System

  • Our body has a two-layered defence system - the skin and mucus lining, as well as the innate immune system.
  • The white blood cells (neutrophils, macrophages, natural killer cells) in the innate immune system are like "ambulances" that go to the site of invasion and try to surround and kill the invader.
  • They work together with complement proteins which put a "eat me" chemical tag on the invader.
  • Cells that are suffering from the injury or invader also release "help me" signals in the form of cytokines like interleukin-1, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha.
  • This signals the white blood cells to kill the invader and create an isolated compartment to keep it contained.
  • In this way our body can protect us from invaders and infections.

Strengthen Your Adaptive Immune System with Healthy Microbiome

  • The adaptive immune system is an amazing defense against infections and other invaders.
  • It produces antibodies, which are special molecules that can recognize and attach to a particular invader.
  • To do this, leukocytes, or white blood cells, are sent to the site of infection and create an imprint of the invader.
  • When the body encounters the invader again, these antibodies are ready and can immediately fight it off and prevent the infection from taking hold.
  • To maintain this strong adaptive immune system, it's important to take good care of our mucus membranes, which can be done by having a healthy microbiome, or colonies of beneficial bacteria, along our mucus pathways.
  • This will also help trap the bad stuff and allow the good stuff to pass through.

Strengthen Your Nasal Passageways and Fight Off Infection with Nasal Breathing

  • Breathing properly is very important for our health.
  • Our nose is a natural filter for bacteria and viruses that are constantly bombarding us.
  • Breathing through the mouth is not recommended as it can increase our susceptibility to infection.
  • Exercising and speaking are exceptions, but in general we should strive to nasal breathe.
  • It may help to strengthen our nasal passageways, which tend to collapse or become deviated.
  • Studies have even shown that the nasal microbiome has certain species that are good at fighting off infection.
  • Overall, nasal breathing can be a powerful way to protect our health.

A Three-Step Plan to Fight Infection and Boost Health

  • Maintaining our health and avoiding infection is a battle that we must fight every day.
  • We can use three key tools to help us in this fight: not touching our eyes, taking care of our gut microbiome, and eating two to four servings of low sugar fermented foods.
  • Keeping our hands clean and not bringing them to our eyes helps protect us from bacteria and viruses that can enter through this primary entry point.
  • Eating fermented foods can help reduce inflammation in our body and bolster our gut microbiome, which is an important part of our defense.
  • Finally, we must also take care of our overall health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and connecting with others.
  • With these tools in our arsenal, we can be better equipped to fight off infection and keep ourselves healthy.

Unlocking the Power of Interleukin-10 to Fight Off Invaders

  • Our bodies are equipped with an amazing immune system, designed to protect us from any foreign invaders.
  • Interleukins, molecules produced by our bodies, are important components of the immune system.
  • While some interleukins like IL-6 and IL-1 are pro-inflammatory, meaning they stimulate inflammation, there are others like interleukin-10 that are anti-inflammatory.
  • This means they help reduce inflammation and protect our bodies from harm.
  • Interleukin-10 is particularly important, as it plays an important role in fighting off any invaders.
  • So while some interleukins may lead to inflammation, others help protect us from harm.

Slowing Down to Speed Up Recovery

  • Sickness behavior is a natural response to illness and injury.
  • It involves a decrease in activity, such as feeling lethargic, not taking care of oneself, and not feeling hungry.
  • Studies have found that this behavior helps conserve resources for repair and decrease the risk of vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Additionally, slowing down blood circulation has been found to increase the activity of the lymphatic system, which carries immune-related cells and fluids.
  • Therefore, getting extra rest can help facilitate recovery when someone is feeling unwell.

Adaptive Response: Seeking or Avoiding Care

  • People tend to respond to sickness in two different ways.
  • Some people seek the help and care of others when they are feeling ill, while others prefer to be alone.
  • This behavior is natural and can be seen in both humans and animals.
  • It is thought to be an adaptive response, as it allows people to get the support they need while also reducing the risk of spreading infection.
  • Many people also report feeling more child-like when they are sick and may be more likely to seek care.
  • The response of seeking or avoiding care is about 50/50 for both humans and animals.
  • Sickness behavior is a link between the immune system and the nervous system.
  • It can be learned or innate, and it is similar to major depression.
  • In both conditions, levels of cytokines such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha are increased.
  • This suggests that depression could be caused by increased activity of inflammatory cytokines.
  • Knowing this could help us prevent illness or make it easier to move through it.
  • Healthy behavior is also a bridge between the immune system and the nervous system, so certain patterns of thinking and behavior can have an effect on our immunity.

Unveiling the Impact of Sickness on Behavior

  • When we become sick, our appetite often decreases, especially for protein-rich foods.
  • This is thought to be the body's way of trying to reduce the amount of iron it takes in.
  • Too much iron in the blood can be toxic, and some bacteria and infections thrive in high-iron environments.
  • Another common symptom of sickness and depression is a loss of libido or interest in sex and reproduction.
  • This is because sickness and depression are surprisingly similar and both can affect the way we think and how we react to the world around us.
  • Understanding how sickness can alter our behavior can help us better care for ourselves and those around us.

How Does the Body Respond to Infection and Injury?

  • The body has an amazing way of responding to infection and injury.
  • When we have an infection or an injury, the vagus nerve sends a signal to the brain, telling it to make changes in the body to help fight off the infection or heal the injury.
  • This includes an increase in body temperature, causing a fever, and sensitivity to light, called photophobia, which leads to headaches.
  • It also sends signals to the hypothalamus to promote sleepiness, even during the day.
  • All of these responses are designed to help the body heal by giving it time to rest, and allowing it to focus its energy on fighting off the infection or healing the injury.

The Power of Humoral Factors in Healing

  • When we get sick, our body does many things to help us recover.
  • Our body releases certain blood borne chemicals called humoral factors which are picked up by specialized tissues in the brain called choroid.
  • These chemicals increase inflammation in the brain, impairing memory and cognition.
  • As a result, we can feel so unwell that we can't concentrate on anything.
  • This is a normal response by our body when we are sick and this feeling will pass as we get better.

Unlocking the Power of Glymphatic System and Self-Hypnosis for a Swift Recovery

  • We all know that when we start to feel sick we should take a hot shower and get some rest.
  • But there are other things we can do to try and reduce the probability of getting sick and to help our body heal more quickly.
  • We can elevate our feet 12 degrees while we are sleeping, to increase the activity of our glymphatic system.
  • This system washes out debris that accumulates in our brain and is important for the recovery from infection.
  • We can also try to increase the amount of serotonin in our body, either by eating foods that contain tryptophan, or by taking a natural supplement like 5-HTP.
  • This can lead to the quality of sleep that will help our body fight off the infection.
  • Self-hypnosis is also beneficial as it involves deep relaxation and can improve pain management, sleep transition, and more.
  • If we all follow these practices, we may be able to keep ourselves healthy and recover from sickness or injury more quickly.

Maximising The Benefits Of Hot Showers And Saunas When Unwell

  • Taking a hot shower or bath when feeling unwell is a time-honored tradition.
  • Now, new research suggests that taking a hot sauna or bath, followed by a cool-down period, is even more beneficial.
  • This is because the heat and subsequent cooling effect can increase white blood cell production and adjust cortisol levels, which can help combat infection.
  • However, caution should be taken if one already has a fever as the heat could take body temperature to dangerously high levels.
  • So, remember to take a hot shower or bath when feeling unwell and if you have access to a sauna, you can further increase the benefits by going through a heating and cooling cycle.

Feeding a Fever: The Power of Food on Infection

  • When you have a fever, it is your body's natural attempt to fight off any intruding virus or bacteria.
  • Eating food increases your body temperature, so 'feeding a fever' makes sense as it is helping your body to fight off the infection.
  • 'Starving a cold' however, is not as clear and may be due to congestion making eating uncomfortable.
  • However, some believe that fasting can help combat certain types of infections as it increases the adrenaline in the brain and body, which has a powerful effect on the body's defence system.

Enhance Your Immune System with Breathwork

  • Breathing exercises can have a powerful effect on our physical and mental health.
  • In a study, people voluntarily injected with E.
  • coli bacteria were divided into two groups.
  • One group practiced a behavioral protocol of cyclic hyperventilation, which involves 25-30 deep breaths followed by a breath hold, repeated for several rounds.
  • The other group only meditated.
  • The results were remarkable.
  • Those who practiced cyclic hyperventilation experienced lower flu-like symptoms due to a reduction in inflammatory cytokines and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines, triggered by the release of epinephrin.
  • This shows that deliberately engaging our sympathetic nervous system can help us combat infection and enhance our immune system function.
  • It is important to note that both the hyperventilation and the breath hold are important to get the full effect.
  • Also, it is important to practice this in a safe environment and not to push the breath hold beyond the point of impulse.

Unlocking the Mind-Body Connection to Promote Health

  • The idea that the mind can heal the body has been around for many years, but only recently has it been taken seriously.
  • Scientists have been studying the role of brain chemicals like dopamine and catecholamines in the body, and how they can affect our physical and mental health.
  • Research has found that stress, a neurochemical state, can be beneficial in the short term as it releases catecholamines which can activate the reward system associated with dopamine.
  • This reward system has been linked to a reduction in tumor size in several studies.
  • It is clear that the mind and body are connected, and understanding this connection can help us better manage our physical and mental health.

Unlocking the Corticolimbic Hypothalamic Pathway to Conquer Worrying

  • We all know that worrying can have a negative effect on our health, but research has now shown us how this works.
  • Scientists have identified a specific neural pathway in the brain that connects thinking, emotion and prior experiences to the areas that control our basic physiology, such as temperature regulation.
  • This pathway is called the corticolimbic hypothalamic pathway.
  • By exposing subjects to stressful events, researchers have been able to activate this pathway and cause fever and other symptoms of illness.
  • Through further study, they have also been able to block this pathway and prevent the worrying of oneself sick.
  • This research shows us that our thoughts can have a real and powerful effect on our health and wellbeing.

Unleashing The Power of Hope & Dopamine To Accelerate Healing

  • Hope and a positive outlook on the future can be very beneficial for our health.
  • Research has shown that when people suffering from very debilitating illnesses have a sense of hope, their recovery rates are much higher.
  • This is because of the high correlation between hope and the dopamine system.
  • Dopamine is a molecule of reward and motivation, which encourages us to work towards the future.
  • To stimulate dopamine, we can do a number of things like taking tyrosine and mucuna pruriens supplements or participating in cold water exposure.
  • It is important to note that drugs of abuse should be avoided as they can have addictive properties and lead to crashes.
  • By engaging in these activities, we can activate the mesolimbic reward pathway and reduce inflammation in the body, accelerating the healing process.

Unlocking the Benefits of Spirulina for Cold Relief

  • Educational learnings from this section are that when one is already experiencing symptoms of a cold such as a runny nose or congestion, there are alternative treatments for symptom relief.
  • One such option is spirulina, an algae-based supplement with proven benefits in reducing nasal congestion, nasal itching and improving sleep.
  • Studies have found that it can take up to two grams of spirulina a day to experience these effects, so it is important to take the right amount.
  • Additionally, spirulina has been found to reduce inflammation-causing cytokines and thus can help with the underlying cause of the infection.

Can Spirulina Help with Seasonal Allergies?

  • Spirulina is a plant extract that has many hidden benefits.
  • It can help people with seasonal allergies by inhibiting Mast Cells, which are little bubbles of histamine.
  • When these cells are activated, they cause inflammation and swelling at the affected area.
  • Anti-histamines can also help, however Spirulina can be equally as effective.
  • It is important to note that people with PKU must be aware of the side effects of this supplement, as it can be dangerous for them.
  • All in all, Spirulina is a natural remedy that has a logical scientific explanation behind it.

Unlocking the Potential of Acupuncture to Reduce Inflammation

  • Acupuncture has been found to have the potential to reduce inflammation.
  • A study recently published in the journal Nature revealed that when an electrical current is passed into the body via needles, this can stimulate sites that can reduce inflammation.
  • In particular, they located areas on the body such as the lower limbs that can stimulate the vagal adrenal reflex and lead to reduced inflammation.
  • This is due to the activation of nerve endings in the fascia, a thick sheath of tissue that surrounds muscles, which sends a connection deep into the limb fascial tissue and up into the spinal cord.
  • This chain of neural reactions leads to the release of norepinephrine, noradrenaline, adrenaline, and dopamine, which together lower inflammation.
  • This exciting new research indicates the potential of acupuncture to reduce inflammation in the body.

Exploring the Intersection of Ancient Practices and Modern Science

  • This is an exciting time for science! Ancient practices such as acupuncture and respiration have been around for centuries.
  • With new discoveries in mechanistic science, we can now understand why these practices work.
  • We can start to create new protocols that are effective, low cost and accessible.
  • The National Institutes of Health's new institute, NCCIH, is investing tax dollars to explore how the immune system and nervous system interact.
  • We are discovering how ancient practices and modern science can work together to improve treatments for immunological and neurological diseases.
  • This is an exciting step forward in the fields of health, medicine and science.