Boost your immune system this winter

Well, not much of a summer this year! And for those of us that decided to stay at home and support the local economy, we were rewarded with cold, wet and miserable weather. And as I write this article, the poor weather continues, with the prospect of worse to come until we get to May next year! The festivities and lights at Christmas will give us a short break, but over the next few months we will all gradually feel the effects of the cold, wet, miserable weather and start to succumb to all sorts of winter ailments, from coughs and sneezes all the way through to debilitating flu and bronchitis.


But not everyone suffers. Some of us are blessed with strong immune systems that seem to repel even the worst infections that spread though our communities.

So, what is our immune system and what can we do to boost it so we can fight off infections and stay healthy this winter?

Well, the immune system is a vital part of our bodies that is designed to defend us against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that would love to invade our bodies. It is not an actual organ but a combination of organs, structures and substances that work together to attack bacteria and protect our bodies again disease. It works round the clock and largely goes unnoticed until it fails to protect us in some way.

Every day we breathe in thousands of germs (bacteria and viruses) that are floating around in the atmosphere and normally our immune system deals with them without a problem. Occasionally though, some of these germs get past our immune system and result in a cold, flu or even worse.


Suffering from the symptoms of a cold or flu is a sure sign that our immune system has failed to stop these germ entering our bodies. But when we get over a cold or flu, this proves our immune system has learned how to eliminate the invader. If our immune system didn't know how to do this, we would never get over anything and suffer constantly from infections.

Another way germs can enter our bodies is through ingestion. Most germs that enter our mouth are killed quickly by the saliva in the mouth or the acid in our stomach. However, if a germ gets past the immune system, it can cause food poisoning resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea.

When we get a cut, all sorts of bacteria and viruses can enter the body through the cut. The immune system responds by eliminating the invader, but if the immune system fails, the cut can become infected.

When our immune system is working, it saves us from all sorts of misery, but when our immune system goes wrong, not only does it stop protecting us, but it leads to all sorts of ailments, such as: allergies, caused by the immune system overreacting to certain stimuli; diabetes, caused when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas and rheumatoid arthritis where the immune system acts inappropriately in the joints.
The idea of boosting our immune system is attractive, but elusive. Therefore, to ensure a healthy immune system choose a healthy lifestyle. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected with strategies such as these:-

  • Don't smoke.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.

Finally, to function well, our immune system requires bodily balance and harmony. So why not try something complementary, like reflexology, which can achieve this.

If you would like to find out more about how complementary therapies such as Reflexology can help you boost your immune system, check out or telephone Catherine Harper on 07962 975 124, or e-mail

Interested in finding out more about treatments?

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07962 975 124


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You'll find me at

2 Blackwood Way
Pitreavie Castle
KY11 8TD


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You'll find regular articles giving help and advice on how to combat many ailements and how to cobat stress.

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