We Are Strong: The Natural Path to Effective Immunity
01 May 2020
Our immune system has an astonishing ability to resist disease and infections. But it is only when we follow the natural path that we maximise that immunity and realise our incredible natural potential.
WE ARE HERE TODAY because of our incredible bodies and minds that are able to intelligently deal with invading pathogens of an almost infinite variety: living invaders such as bacteria and parasites; tiny genetic parasites called viruses that are not technically alive; and a host of natural toxins that affect body and mind. We are here because we innately have an astonishing homeostatic resilience — we can collectively survive during times of incredible trauma: not just that involving infections and food and water shortages, but also invasion, war, climate change and general upheaval. We are here because we have been built by evolution (or by God) to survive. We are strong.
The modern lifestyle, however, throws up multiple novel challenges that our innate biological intelligence and our psychologies have not had time to adapt to. Whilst sanitation and modern housing has successfully eradicated most infectious diseases, the body still struggles to maintain its health in an increasingly artificial world contaminated with industrial-age toxins, on a diet of processed, unwholesome, tainted and modified foods, on concoctions of modern drugs, under the chronic psychological stress of our modern lives, and with exposure to escalating levels of both ionising and non-ionising radiation. These recent factors to our evolution, that we are not adapted to (even just to mitigate some of the effects), have eroded our biological and psychological integrity, opening us up to chronic disease states such as cancer, heart disease, hypertension, dementia and diabetes – diseases that, although once rare, now account for the vast majority of deaths, with mortality rates dwarfing those of infections.
Unfortunately, the insidious effects of our modern lifestyles not only results in an escalation of chronic diseases, but by compromising our barriers and our innate ability to fight invaders, we also become more susceptible to infection. So the more unnatural our lives, the more we compromise our natural immunity, and the more we are susceptible to disease in general. There is only so far that our metabolic homoeostatic resilience can go when we veer off the natural path, a path that we have been fine-tuned to over millions of years. And so, for the first time in recent history, our children will probably have shorter lifespans than we will.
So if we want to express our innate strength and immunity, we are advised to walk the natural path, not as sandal-wearing Luddites opting out of modern civilisation, but as individuals wise enough to integrate the best of both worlds. Modern civilisation can be very toxic to our biology and psychology if we live unconsciously, allowing ourselves to be manipulated by big business to buy/use products that have traded health for convenience and large profits. In modern societies, we vote largely with our choices, and if we want clean food, non-toxic healthcare and less politically tainted news, there will always be those willing to supply these new markets. This is the drive that is forcing supermarkets to carry healthier food, hospitals to offer more natural treatments, and the mass media to give a voice to the natural movement and alternative medical perspectives. Change is happening as the people become more conscious of the benefits of natural healthcare.
However, society is so conditioned by marketing that it stubbornly resists positive change. After all, the pre-packaged, nutrient-poor, toxic solutions are hugely profitable, allowing those that peddle them the financial clout to further saturate the mass media with their insidious marketing and PR campaigns, so that natural-anything becomes an uphill struggle. Everywhere we turn, we are inundated by promotions that entice us away from the natural path, to the point whereby most of us do not value or trust the natural state. In our “I-want-it-now” and “it-must-taste-sweet” culture of processed foods, quick symptomatic cures, medical shortcuts and untested technologies, we have lost the rhythm of true vitality. We have forgotten what true health feels like.
Every year, millions die and millions more are born. The species continues; the wheel of life turns. And within that span we face multiple challenges and stressors, both physically and mentally. How we face those challenges determines the quality of our lives. If we chase only symptoms of disease because we are not prepared to give up our unhealthy habits, we can find ourselves in a pharmaceutical hall of mirrors, lost in interactions and side-effects, needing to tackle escalating symptomatic reactions. Make no mistake, in critical and acute situations, the drug suppression of symptoms saves lives – of that there is no doubt – but if we have enough space and foresight to identify causes — true causes — we have a chance to turn the biological and psychological fulcrum towards true biological integrity, whether it is to recover from a specific condition or avoid getting sick in the first place. The natural path is all about immunity.
Of course, those who peddle symptomatic quick fixes portray us as fragile and flawed, a blighted species in need of saving. Nature to them is never good (profitable) enough; millions of years of refinement have missed the mark. This sombre message is relentless in both our media and our educational institutions, so we grow up looking outside of ourselves for that missing wholeness, looking beyond our innate biological wisdom for answers to life’s challenges. In the process we become mechanistic consumers, forgetting our innate and incredible living immunity.
What exactly is immunity? Immunity is usually portrayed as a distinct system within our bodies; a modular add-on or extension that protects the rest. But it is much more than that. Our whole bodies and our whole minds are our immunity — our skin, our senses, our appendix, our hopes and our smiles. All of it. All of it protects us because all of it plays a function in the maintenance or return to biological and psychological integrity. The whole process of dynamic equilibrium around integrity is what keeps us whole. This is what immunity is.
Yes, it involves NK-cells, B-Cells, T-Cells, dendritic cells and macorphages, but only because we are looking for evidence of its process at the cellular level. When we look for it there, we see it. However, when we look for the process of immunity at higher magnifications, we see it there also at the bacterial level – with colonies of bacteria supporting our resilience, especially in the gut. And magnifying further still, we see it at the molecular dimension where immunity involves a myriad of chemical messenger molecules — cytokines, hormones, eicosanoids and neurotransmitters — that keep us whole and balanced. Even the virome may be serving an immunomodulatory function in the same way that our predominant bacterial colonies do. (In the future, we may even increase the magnification further and find quantum information states and subtle energy pathways that support immunity.)
We only define immunity at these small scales because of our reductionist scientific approach, one whose central dogma is that causation is a “bottom-up” process. But when we are fixated by reductionism, we miss the bigger picture.
We can zoom back out the other way; we can see immunity in the kind of person we are and the communities of which we are a part. We can see it at the level of our habitual emotions, our habits, our expression, our physical activity and our very consciousness. Indeed, anything and everything that defines and maintains “us” is part of the immune system. We are like Jupiter's great red spot, sustaining ourselves despite the biological and psychological vagaries that rage about us. We endure because we are strong.
All these dimensions and different scales of our immunity are holistically connected or orchestrated: the symphony of life touches us at every level, holding our systems in sublime resonance. Our cells, our microbes, our gene expression, our organs, our brains and perhaps even our vocal cords are all divinely harmonised from Gaia's podium. And because of that resonance or entrainment, disharmony at any level can affect the rest: chronic stress and depression slow the activity of our immune cells; an unbalanced gut microbiota can lead to negative emotions. But fortunately, the converse is also true: harmony at one level can, through biological and informational resonance, entrain the same harmony at other levels. Improving our diet improves our mental stability; watching comedies makes our immune cells dance with our laughter and therefore more effective. So we must remember that we apply scientific reductionism to living and conscious organisms at our peril, for to miss its holistic nature is a recipe for an ineffective medicine.
During these challenging times we are being bombarded with the message that we are weak, that our bodies are flawed. That life is fragile. That we are slaves to circumstance. That we have ineffective innate protection so that each interaction becomes a deadly game of viral Russian roulette. And so we look outside of ourselves to the experts to save us — the experts who generally have little appreciation for the innate strength of the immune system because it is not in their education, focus or financial interest. Rather than recognising and strengthening our natural immunity, and trusting in our ability to weather the storm, as we have always in times past, the edict from above has been to dismiss the effectiveness of our natural resistance and, instead, actually compromise that all-important immunity by isolating us indoors, with the debilitating stress of being locked in our homes, deprived of our liberty, sunlight and friends, and left to contemplate disturbing thoughts of financial ruin and uncertain futures. It is not just ourselves becoming unfit during this lockdown, our white blood cells are becoming unfit also. Too much isolation and cleanliness diminishes immunity because the normal bacterial, viral and cellular sparring that happens in social interaction – sparring that is necessary for keeping our immunity fighting-fit – is interrupted.
The message is one of helplessness, and the only solution offered is the eventual production of a vaccine which, like all toxic interventions, can have serious side-effects. What happened to the natural way of keeping our immune systems strong? Why has this been sidelined? Why have we forgotten what makes us naturally strong?
The propaganda has been largely effective; people are falling into step, accepting this pernicious paradigm of helpless and biological weakness in the face of adversity, and even applauding the deprivation of liberty for safety, something that makes our immune cells miserable. We are sleepwalking our way to disaster because we have forgotten the miracle of millions of years of evolution; we have forgotten that we are divine creations forged in the fires of the most challenging circumstances, and we are designed to survive these sorts of situations.
If we had remembered, we might instead be turning our attention to ways to restore and strengthen our powerful natural immunity — on all levels. This would mean first and foremost acknowledging our innate strength, both biologically and psychologically. It would mean shutting off from the gloom-and-doomers that damage our outlook and give our white blood cells no hope, and learning to have faith in the natural state and our divine purpose, as our ancestors did. We are born not only to survive but to thrive, and only by accepting this fact can we unfreeze from the deluge of fear porn that has saturated the mass-media, stop waiting to be rescued, and start moving forward on the natural path that offers us real immunity.
It is a process – a protracted process for some. You might be able to mask a symptom with a drug overnight, but to be truly healthy takes a journey of many steps: each time we eat a meal is a step forward; each time we take some exercise is a step forward; each time we practice meditation or conscious relaxation is a step forward; each time we take a food supplement is a step forward. Indeed, almost every thought and choice is a step – the question being whether it is a step forwards or backwards. The body heals slowly because it does so holistically; the orchestra needs practice to again play the magnificent symphony of life. This is where faith comes in: whether it is in the divine or in the natural process, faith is knowing that the flower will bloom even though the bud appears to be locked shut. Take enough steps on the natural path – many of which may seem inconsequential – our health will bloom. Seeing the extraordinary colours, the exquisite design, and smelling the heavenly scent — we understand that it was worth the wait.
It was worth the wait because, as we rediscover that divine resonance, we arrive at true vitality — not just a lack of symptoms. And that is a journey worth making the effort for, not just for ourselves but for those that we care about, and for our community. Vital people have vital children; vital families make up vital communities; and vital communities offer real hope for the future, rather than the dystopian nightmare that bodes ahead if we do nothing. Vital communities have a natural way of making wise decisions and rejecting tyrannical government because they realise that the greatest wealth is God-given rather than government or pharma-given. Our natural ability to have vibrant health and well-being is our birthright, not something we need to entreat the government or international NGO's for.
So we start with the fundamentals of the natural way: we look at our diet, our physical activity, and the state of our minds. We introduce just a little harmony in whichever levels we are able: we choose a predominantly plant-based wholefood diet because this is what we evolved on, a diet that supplies us with the myriad of nutrients and the fibre that bolster immunity, allowing us to fight off both chronic and infectious disease. We choose to take physical activity every day because we understand that life is flux, and that being overly static slows and eventually clogs the vital flow. We choose everyday to meditate, switch-off, turn-inward and/or pray because we understand that psychological harmony is our natural state, and that all we need to do is still the water, allow the sediments to settle, so that we can return to our sparkling nature. That birthright of vibrant health is only ours to claim if walk the natural path.
To facilitate healing in a world with unnatural levels of toxins, radiation and chronic psychological stressors, and with the depleted foods we buy in the supermarkets, it is often advisable to include concentrated nutrients sources or food supplements to facilitate a return to wholeness. We may consider taking vitamins, minerals, herbs and other food extracts that can rebalance and protect our systems, helping to restore our naturally strong immunity. (Examples include Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B-complex, MGN-3, mushroom extracts, curcumin extract, the minerals selenium and zinc, effective microorganisms, probiotics, herbs such as Echinacea, Astragalus, Yin Chiao, ginger and ginseng to name just a few. Nature's pharmacy awaits.)
We may need to enlist the aid of a healthcare practitioner, sympathetic to the natural approach, whether it be a naturopath, nutritionist, homeopath, herbalist, functional-doctor or Chinese Medicine practitioner, especially in the face of serious or seemingly intractable imbalance. Or perhaps we may need an osteopath, chiropractor or other body worker to restore structural alignment and optimal functioning of the nervous system, muscular tensions, joint imbalances, digestive and fluid flows. There are so many effective alternative practitioners and treatment methods at our disposal, should we wish to be supported on the natural path.
So if you want to restore your innate vitality, the tools and knowledge are there, but be aware that our modern society will constantly trying to distract you away from the natural path, to shake your faith in your own immunity. The system is always looking to keep you needy and small in order to maximise profits, replacing confidence in self with the chronic worry of the inevitability of disease, lurking infection and biological breakdown – leaving us wide-eyed, supplicatory and open-walleted.
However, even with the plethora of marketing signs pointing away from our innate biological brilliance, there are increasing numbers of us returning to the natural way. Some of us have run out of options; some of us are just tired of playing symptomatic Whac-A-Mole that is the bane of the pharma-approach; and still others are intuitively waking up to a realisation that a state of no-identifiable-symptoms is worlds-apart from optimum health. And a few of us, if we were lucky, are born into families that honoured and taught us the natural way, passing on the wisdom as we did in generations past.
We are waking up to those traditional ways; there is gathering momentum, a quickening towards the natural path because we understand that it is not just about health but our very futures. A dystopia awaits those who accept the propaganda that they are weak and our bodies flawed. And a utopia awaits those who have faith in their innate strength and holistic vibrancy, and who have the foresight to unplug from the mass-media propaganda systems. Which future will you choose?
Recognise your innate immunity and return to the natural path.
We are strong.