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How to maintain optimum immunity?


How to maintain optimum immunity?

Maintaining optimum immunity revolves around the following primary factors:

Clean blood and lymph

Blood plays a front line defensive role by delivering nutrients and immune factors to diseased and toxic tissues and carrying away metabolic wastes, toxins and pathogens. Lymph in turn keeps the blood clean and also purifies cellular fluids. The efficiency of their defense functions depends entirely upon their degree of purity, including proper pH balance. Clean blood also depends upon proper maintenance of the liver and kidneys, which filter the blood.

Balanced endocrine function

In order to produce the hormones required for immunity, the entire endocrine system must be maintained in proper balance, for glandular secretions influence once another by biofeedback. Endocrine balance is achieved and maintained by the parasympathetic branch of the autonomous nervous system and excessive stimulation of the sympathetic branch throws the endocrine system off balance.

Active elimination

In order to keep the body clean, the immune system needs a place to dump all the garbage it dredges from the system. Therefore, all the excretory organs, including colon, lungs, kidneys and skin MUST be maintained in proper working order. Whenever excretory functions are impaired, the body dumps its garbage into joints, body fat, lymph nodes, colonic sacculations and other nooks and crannies seemingly isolated from the bloodstream.


Proper nutrition is absolutely essential for maintaining immunity, for nutrients are the building blocks of human defense installations. Nutrients are also required for antioxidant protection against free radical damage, rebuilding injured tissues and metabolic conversion of essence into energy.

Physiologically, the traditional Chinese view of the human immune system is remarkably similar to the modern Western model. In the Chinese system, the first line of defense is provided by the thymus, adrenals and spine, followed in order of priority by the bone marrow, blood, brain (pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus), liver and kidneys, spleen and pancreas.

The Chinese however, also attach great importance to the immunological powers of energy and spirit, which are factors consistently ignored and misunderstood by modern Western medicine, much to the peril of patients.

Traditional Chinese doctors and Taoist healers frequently prescribe chee-gung to boost immunological response and meditation to mobilize the immunological powers of the mind, usually in conjunction with herbal and dietary prescriptions that work synergistically with energy and spirit.

Without sufficient energy, neither drugs, herbs, nor nutrients can be properly utilized in defense of health and negative mental attitudes such as cynicism, doubt, fear, confusion and self-loathing can negate the therapeutic benefits of even the most potent medications.

While modern Western medicine has a firm grasp of the "essence" of immunity, it has much to learn from traditional Chinese medicine about the "energy" and "spirit" of the human immune system and the sooner it does so, the better the health of Western societies will become.

Traditional Chinese immunology attaches particular importance to the role of the adrenal glands in guarding health and recent Western research on the immunosuppressive effects of stress scientifically validated the Chinese view. The Chinese refer to the adrenals as the "Root of Life" and cite them as the primary source of pure primordial energy, sexual vitality and immunological resilience. Since they are attached to the kidneys, the technical Chinese term for the adrenals is "kidney glands" and their functions are directly influenced by kidney organ energy.

Fear, for example, is an aberrant emotional energy associated with the kidneys in the Chinese system and chronic fear is thus regarded as a major suppressant of immune functions. This view is confirmed by Western medical science, which cites fear as a form of stress that triggers adrenal secretions of adrenaline and cortisone, two hormones known to suppress immunity severely. When fear of any other source of stress becomes chronic, adrenal burnout soon follows and the victim acquires a chronic immune deficiency that renders the body easy prey to formerly harmless microbes in the environment.

Adrenal burnout and elevated levels of cortisone in the blood are major contribution factors in chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, cancer, sexual impotence and infertility, allergies, migraine and other debilitating conditions.

According to the Chinese system, weak adrenals not only impair immunity on the level of essence, they also weaken resistance by cutting the main source of energy which maintains the radiant shell of protective wei-chee round the body. And since kidney organ energy governs bone marrow and brain tissue, deficient kidney/adrenal function also impairs production of white blood cells, hormones and other immune factors in these vital tissue.

Therefore, the traditional Chinese view of the kidney/adrenal complex as a primary regulator of immunity functions on all three levels of essence, energy and spirit has been confirmed by modern medical science and provides adepts of Taoist alchemy with a powerful protective mechanism that can be cultivated with physical, energetic and spiritual practices.

Traditional Chinese medicine cites four major forms of immune deficiency, or "immune emptiness": blood, energy, yin and yang. The term "empty" refers to a condition of energy deficiency that impairs the vital functions of the organ, gland or tissue which that particular energy governs. In Western medicine, which does not recognize the roles of bio-energies, various forms of immune burn out, bone marrow impairment, cerebral insufficiency and so forth.

In order to gain a proper perspective on the rapidly growing problem of immune deficiency, we will now discuss some of the primary causes and most effective remedies in terms of essence, energy and spirit."

Source: Daniel Reid, The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity.

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