The Chinese approach to health is that prevention is as important as cure. The theory is that if your body is in a healthy, balanced state, it is harder for illness to get a foothold in the body. There are so many things you can do to bolster your immune system. But to start with, let me just talk you through three of them!
The first and most powerful involves using your breath. Breathing is free, so we all undervalue it. Yet breath is quite simply the most powerful self-healing cure we have. Breathing properly will immediately switch your body into its parasympathetic, or rest phase. There are no end of articles online talking about how you can support your immunity with breath techniques – I practice my own Rescue Breath technique every day, it only takes one-minute and so is easy to fit in!
Once you have some decent oxygen going on in your bloodstream, you then need to get it circulating around the body. And this is where tapping comes in. Yes, the Hayo’u Body Tapper Bamboo is amazing, but you can practice all of these techniques for free, so give it a try with a loosely clenched fist and see how you feel.
Tapping is a great way to encourage the circulatory system – which is crucial to good health. The circulatory and lymphatic systems both work together as a team, and tapping is something that has been practiced for millennia. Try and tap the thymus gland every day. The thymus is situated behind the breastbone.
We have many lymph nodes in the abdomen, so it’s also particularly good to focus around this area. In Chinese medicine, tapping the abdomen supports the vital organs, which control the overall health of the body.
I’m going to stick my neck out and wager that you will probably be feeling pretty good by this point, a bit more invigorated, a bit more zingy. And now, it’s time for gua sha.
Body gua sha is a therapeutic healing technique, that has been widely practised in China for thousands of years. It involves using a round-edged tool to press-stroke the skin until a red flush appears. Gua sha is nothing short of remarkable, scientists have discovered that it upregulates an enzyme called H-o1 which is anti-inflammatory and immune boosting. In addition, it offers a unique stimulation of the immune system through fascia and connective tissue. As the lymphatic channels run through fascia, when fascia is ‘slippery’, the lymph fluid moves through easily and the immune cells within the lymph fluid are able to fight infections and subsequently, reduce inflammation.
Try it with a jam jar lid and some oil, see how you like it. It genuinely does feel really pleasurable, as well as being so good for you. There are how to IGTVs on my Instagram, @katie_brindle.
In addition to these techniques, being in nature is a really important. This is clearly easier said than done in the modern age, especially if you are an urban dweller. So bring nature into the house, fill your rooms with houseplants; and have your window open when you are practising Qigong with me.
Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more. And, if I have whet your appetite, do sign up for my live Immunity Masterclass on Monday 14th December.