By Integrative health coach, lifestyle journalist and Yoga teacher, Rosie Underwood
Our bodies are amazingly wise. More so than we even realize, but right now, giving ourselves a helping hand to consciously boost our own natural defenses is crucial. The human body acts as a host for trillions of bacteria that work in synergy with your body to keep you at optimal health. But we so often overlook the fact that our microbiome, and our immunity is out of kilter. Here’s how to get back on track with a holistic approach to boosting immunity.
Your skin microbiome
So, let’s get this straight, your microbiome makes you you. It’s the collection of genetic material in the millions of microorganisms that live on and in our bodies. This unique concoction is vital for overall health.
Bearing in mind that your skin is a vital organ, the only one you can touch, it’s as important we consider our skin’s microbiome just as much as we would our gut’s. This microbiome helps us deal with skin infections, protects us against environmental damage and even communicates with our immune system. Anything that touches our skin, touches our microbiome first. In a world where a decent hand sanitiser is the new must have accessory, the concern is that the intense formulas don’t just kill the bad stuff, they kill the good stuff too, meaning 2020 saw us in a state of bacteria limbo. Luckily, our skin is a resilient organ, but I would only recommend hand sanitisers when you don’t have access to soap and water. I love using my Rahua shower gel, for a natural cleanse that keeps biome alive.
Your microbiome and your intuition
We all know what it feels like to get a ‘gut feeling’ as a direct communication from our body when a situation, person or circumstance doesn’t align with our core values. There’s a two-way communication system between the stomach and the brain via the vagus nerve. Our gut bacteria and our minds work in unison which is why a healthy gut microbiome could be closely linked to how we feel emotionally. If we nourish our microbiome, we can feel better mentally and in turn, physically. Again, topical application is just as important as what we ingest in this circumstance, it’s important to avoid toxins at all cost. Rahua’s Founders Blend Scalp and Hair Treatment harnesses the power of Palo Santo oil to naturally balance scalp microbiome, eliminating the bad bacteria that causes issues with your immunity.
Remember that our bodies have a natural detoxification system that’s pretty efficient, but it’s important to aid the process of eliminating toxins when our bodies start to display symptoms of metabolism dysfunction, i.e. weight gain, less energy, cravings, poor sleep and dull skin and hair. Make sure you start your day drinking plenty of water, get efficient sleep, stretch your body, avoid alcohol and caffeine and eat a diet rich in wholefoods, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Again, we need to feed our skin and hair topically, as well as ingesting the goodness, which is where switching to Rahua Classic Shampoo & Conditioner for rebalancing, will bring life back to your hair and scalp, as the soil for hair growth. It takes time for the detoxification process to come into full swing, but once you’re there, your body will thank you for it.
Sleep yourself well
Sleep and immunity are closely tied and so many of us forgo sleep in a bid to catch up on work or life admin and end up overextending ourselves. Now throw our new friend blue light into the equation and we’re all so over stimulated come the evening, it feels nigh on impossible to get the recommended eight hours. When we sleep, internal organs rest and repair, memory consolidation occurs and strengthening of your natural immunity gets boosted. Not forgetting sleep deprivation alters the bacteria in our gut, so it’s vital that we adopt routines that prioritize a good night’s sleep.
Move in Harmony with nature
We can train ourselves to be in sync with the planet we live on. If you feel out of sync, always look to nature. When the sun goes down, mammals go to sleep, when the sun rises, they wake. I honestly believe in synchronicities, whatever it is that turns day to night and night to day, season to season, whatever has the planets circle each other in perfect harmony, looks after us and our immune cell function too. I think that the more that humans step away from artificial light and move in harmony with nature, the more we’ll be in the right place at the right time, the more we’ll wake up feeling refreshed and energised and excited to start our days, and the more our bodies will function healthily.
Make Yoga and meditation a non-negotiable
Yes, I know I’m biased when it comes to this one, but daily yoga and meditation, even if you only have 20 minutes to spare can have a profound effect on your overall well being. Try to make supine twists a daily part of your practice, because when you unravel a twist, you release fresh nutrients into the bloodstream and stimulate circulation which boosts immunity. When you practice forward folds, either seated or standing, we create space between the vertebrae of the spine which regulates the stress response, soothing and calming the whole body. For maximum calming impact burn some Palo Santo as you practice, and notice the subtle changes in the mind and the body, that turn to big shifts over time.
Remember, we’re all bio-individuals, so find a rhythm that works for you. Our genes load the gun, but it’s our chosen lifestyles that pull the trigger on our immunity. Go by what you feel, your body knows best, it's rooting for you all the time, it speaks a physical language, we just have to get quiet enough to listen.