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.
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
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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Immunity and essence.