Self Care

Your immune system – Five ways to strengthen (or balance) it

By Albert E PerryDec 19, 2021

In this age of massive information and misinformation, I would be imprudent for me not to have a discussion on this most important topic of your healthcare, your immune system.

Your Immune System – Your Best Friend

What is your immune system, anyway?

Well, it’s not just one thing. There is a matrix of billions of interconnected cells and proteins working in synergy to protect our bodies from infection. Together this network has record of every microbe, be it virus, bacteria or fungus, that has ever been defended, This way this system can quickly recognize an enemy and defeat it before it does harm. This system is your loyal best friend and has your back 24/7.

This matrix includes: White Blood Cells; these important defenders are made in the bone marrow and travel in the Lymphatic System which begins in your lungs ans travels throughout your body, especially when you move, to seek out those enemy microbes that want to rob you of your goof health. Spleen; This organ filters out destructive microbes and also breaks down old and damaged red blood cells. It also helps the bone marrow create antibodies and other components that fight disease. Antibodies: These cells are stealth defenders that recognize enemy microbes by the material they secreat or the antigens on their surface, then they mark those enemies for destruction. Lymphatic System: This complex system does everything from absorbing fats and lactic acid, to dealing with cancer cells and bacteria. It also contains Lymph nodes which traps destructive microbes. Thymus: The specialized organ, located between the sternum and heart, that acts like an incubator where the T-cells grow. T Cells: A type of lymphocyte white blood cell, carried by the lymphatic system, that attacks destructive microbes. Bone Marrow: The soft material inside the bone which produces blood cells, both red and white as well as platelets. The red cells carry oxygen from the lungs, pumped by the heart throughout the body, White cells fight disease and platelets help clot the blood so we don’t bleed out from a cut.

5 ways to Balance Your Immune System

Notice that I took the word strengthen out of this sub-title? You see, you hear and read all over the internet about making your immune system stronger. The fact is, if it’s too strong then you will likely acquire an auto immune disorder, like allergies or asthma. Too weak, and infections take your body on their terrible ride. Balance is what we want to achieve. There is no magic pill, vaccine or potion that will do this. You simply must take care of your body to achieve this balance. Here are 5 things you can do to help your best friend, your immune system, to stay, or get into balance.

1 – Sleep

Restful sleep and a healthy immune system are partners to keep you healthy. A highly touted study, by Luciana Besedovsky,1,2 Tanja Lange,1,2 and Jan Born states that: “Sleep and the circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune functions.”

The number one way to help your friend the immune system to stay balanced for you is to get at least 7 hours as an adult. Teens need 8-10 and preteens and infants over 12 hours of restful sleep. Sleep Hygiene is a whole separate blog. I’ll instead refer you to a Healthline article that covers it pretty well.

2 – Qigong

Most Articles won’t include Qigong as an immune system aide, as few in our culture understand Qigong and it’s benefits. Most reputable articles will cite meditation, moderate exercise, deep breathing, and stress reduction as important tools for helping our friend the immune system. Qigong has all of these attributes in one form. While I practice 20 – 60 minutes a day of my own personal practice besides teaching Qigong, even a 10-minute practice is beneficial. This will reduce stress, bring you a positive mindset, move your blood, lymphatic fluid and Qi, while keeping you fully present in each moment, the overall purpose of meditation.

3 – Gut Health

Your stomach contains acids that kill most destructive microbes. There are antibodies in the small intestine lining. The friendly bacteria, (there are 300 to 500 different kinds) break down the food you eat so you can absorb those healthy nutrients. Gut yeast called candida is also present, (along with a bunch of other organisms like fungi), and can get out of balance if sugar and flour are consumed in excess, or if you take antibiotics too often. A little gut yeast is actually good for you as it can help absorb nutrients. When out of balance, it can cause infection, which can tax the immune system.

A healthy Gut is one of the first lines of defense against destructive microbes. Most studies show that a balanced healthy diet, with a variety of fruits and vegetables, will keep the microbiota, or the microbiome in balance. And there is that word again, Balance.

4 – Moderate Exercise

Anything that gets you moving, everything moving, in a lot of different directions, is helpful. Remember that the lymphatic fluid delivers the white blood cells and other lymphocytes to carry on the war against the destructive microbes. How does the lymphatic system move? It moves when we move. I have a saying, it’s not mine, but it’s something I say every day to someone: “Move it or lose it!”

Cardio exercises the heart, and that get’s the blood flowing which delivers oxygen to every cell in our body. If you want a cell to break down, deprive it of oxygen, Move it or lose it! Exercise also make you breath deeper, exercising the lungs. Remember were all that lymphatic fluid it sourced from? Yes, the lungs. Can we sing it one more time? Move it or lose it!

5 – Supplementation

This is a tricky one. Mostly, I recommend getting your nutrients from food. However, every one of us is unique and has a unique mirobiome and DNA. I’d check with your doctor on this, but here’s what I did for myself. I tested my DNA to see if I had any gene mutations that changed the way I absorbed nutrients. We all need vitamins and minerals. We mostly get those from the food we eat, if we eat food and not processed crap. Speaking to that, it’s part of lifestyle. So, we have our DNA which programs our body to be what it is and work the way it does, but then there’s what we do with that program, which is where lifestyle comes in.

I found a company, which I checked out thoroughly, and I invite you to do the same. They have the DNA test, and a lifestyle assessment. Now the lifestyle assessment is free, it’s a questionnaire about how you do life. How you eat, drink, sleep, play, work, and your vitals like age gender ethnicity, etc. All that, plus your DNA testing (which is not free) gives you a personalized look at what you need to nutritionally keep your immune system balanced. But you still need the other 4 things, OK. You can’t take your personalized supplements and sleep 3 hours a night, or leave any of the above suggestions out.

What I discovered about my nutrient absorption was that I did’y absorb vitamin D very easily, I needed a co-factor. I also didn’t absorb folate without it being pre-methylated. I also needed more omega 3 than the average person. By adjusting those nutrients, I am a much healthier person! There are about 7.75 billion people in the world, and there are about 7.75 different combinations of DNA. No two people are alike, not even identical twins! So why would a generalized nutritional supplement work for everyone? It won’t.

Here’s a link to that company, ID Life. It stands for Individually Designed Life.

If you decide to buy anything through the above link, I will get some compensation. If you don’t want me to get compensated, go directly to ID Life and you won’t pay any less, but I will be out of the loop.

For me, I just want you to be the best you possible. In this case, it’s all about balance.

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  1. A great insight and one that will help many i’m sure. It’s so important to take care of the inside and you have broken down how we need to do this in simple terms. Much that we take for granted and forget to take care of. Health is so important and this article will benefit anyone to read. 

  2. What exactly is qigong? I have heard about it from a lot of people but I still do not know what it is. Could you kindly explain? I do most of the things you mentioned in this article so I believe that I am on the right track. Thank you for this lovely review.

  3. You give some great advice here about maintaining balance. I think with our hectic lives that it is very easy to get out of balance these days and sitting in front of a computer isn’t helping. My go-to is playing guitar as it centers me in that moment and leaves me refreshed and joyful. I also do Tai chi to get that daily movement that our lymphatic systems need so much.

    You have made me think very hard about knowing what supplements will run my body better, thanks for the heads up.

    1. Thanks, Lily, for reading and commenting.

      I’m glad to here that that article gave you food for thought!

      Guitar is a great outlet!

      Keep moving and keep Thriving!


  4. Hello and thank you for the insightful article. I am familiar with 4 out of 5 of the smart ideas on your list here.

    However, you are correct that most articles don’t include qigong. In fact, I’m not familiar with it at all, so I’m starting from scratch. I appreciate the link to learn more, as I think this practice offers a way to naturally help boost the immune system.

    Thank you so much! 

  5. Thank you very much for this very interesting article on the immune system. I really like the 5 tips you provided. I want to know exactly what Qigong is. I’ve been practicing meditation and yoga for a while and I can say that it’s helped me a lot. As far as sleep, I still struggle with that. Especially since the death of my father, it’s been really hard for me to deal with. My stress and anxiety are way high and meditation has seemed to help me. 

    Again, thank you for this great article.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Virginia.

      Grief is a difficult emotion. You’re not alone, we all go through it, and it’s never easy. As you do a simple Qigong, like expanding and contracting a visualized white ball in front of you in concert with your breath can help. It focuses your mind on the present moment, where you can heal and then go forward, making your father proud of your life.

      Be well, and here’s to your health!


  6. This is an interesting article…I’ve learned a lot!  From the actual makeup of the immune system (who knew?) to the ways to make it stronger.  I really thought that the only way to make a difference was to be exposed to bacteria for your immune system to fight, like exercising to make your muscles strong.   I’m going to check out ID Life to see what I can do to be healthier.  Thank you for posting!

    1. Thanks, Cynthia for reading and commenting.

      I’m happy you resonated with the article. If you have any questions regarding IDLife, don’t hesitate to ask. I actually went to the company headquarters to check them out. I was very happy with what a saw and learned.

      Stay well and Thrive!


  7. Love it: Movie it or Lose it.

    It is absolutely right.

    With my "laptop" lifestyle I sit all day and I don't feel like going out for running.

    But when I finally convince myself and go running… oh boy. After like 30 – 40 minutes I feel incredible and wonder why the heck I don't do this on a regular basis…

    It is just a matter of "getting started".

    1. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to read and comment.
      Good for you for running as much as you do. Try setting an alarm to “get you started.” This way you can create a habit that is part of you being your best you!
      Stay well and keep thriving!

  8. I really enjoyed reading this refresher on our Immune Systems and the ways to strength. Have to honestly say until now I have never heard of Qigong and after reading the recommendation of the benefits I understand it better. Thanks for teaching the things we need to know about strengthen our immune systems. I will be sharing your guide with my followers. 

    1. Thanks, Jannette, for taking the time to read and comment on this article.

      I’m happy you find Qigong of interest and hope you’ll be trying it out. You can access my YouTube channel here at:https://www.youtube.com/c/AlPe

      There are quite a few short Qigong videos suitable for beginners. I appreciate your offer to share.

      Stay well and keep thriving!


  9. Such a thought provoking article and in particular the use of the word “balance” rather than just “strengthen” in respect of our immune systems. It never occurred to me to think that our immune systems could be too strong, but you’re right, with everything to do with our health, balance is the key. Too much can be as bad as not enough.

    I have one question about the exercises: is there a preferred time to do them? I was wondering whether just before going to bed would help with sleep or would that have the opposite effect?



    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this article, John.

      Most of the exercises I teach are calming abd can be done before bed. Especially the clearing exercises. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel so you know when I produce new content.

      Stay well and thrive!


  10. The lifestyle and DNA assessment is a great idea. I have not seen this recommended anywhere else, and we all need as much immunity protection as we can get right now. I think I would put gut health number one on the list of things we should all be doing. Our guts have such a heavy influence on the stability and health of our entire body. It really is amazing how powerful our guts are, right? 

    1. Thanks, Theresa, for reading and commenting.

      Yes, gut health is extremely important. Not only for digesting properly so we can supply our body with good nutrients, but also our serotonin, a neurotransmitter in our brain, is made in the gut!

      Thanks for resonating with balancing your immune system.

      Stay well and thrive!


  11. Al,

    Thank you for this very informative post. I have had to pay more attention to my immune system in the last 2 1/2 years after having an aortic valve replacement followed 6 weeks later with guillain barre syndrome. My autoimmune system went into overdrive and almost killed me. My doctors advised me to do certain things and eat a certain diet. 

    My wife started researching some of what was proposed and said that with the proper nutrition, meditation and exercise we could dispense with most of the medications that were being prescribed. I followed my wife’s advice and am much healthier than the doctor expected. I am not saying that I do not follow a doctor’s advice but with the right education and determination everyone can lead a healthier life if they so desire.


    1. Jerry, thanks for reading and commenting!

      I’m happy you’re feeling better, living a healthier, balanced lifestyle. Good fit you’re wife fire her research!

      Stay well and Thrive!


  12. This is quite valuable information as our immune system is what keeps us going and extends our lives as well. Thanks for defining the immune system so as to make it easy to understand the specifics. I have done Qigong for years and find it extremely helpful in maintaining good overall health. I also take supplements, exercise, and do Tai Chi and some yoga. Thanks for the link to ID Life. I saved the link and I will explore it further. All the Best.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read this article and comment, Joseph. 

      I’m happy to hear that you practice Qigong. Few people I meet even know what it is. It’s been very good for me over the years as well. 

      Let me know if you have any questions about ID Life. That is another tool that has helped me still feel young in my 70th year. 

      Stay well and keep thriving!


  13. The way our society is today we have more access to things that can improve our health but there are so many distractions going on around us especially with the virus still floating around. But our immune system can not be put on the back burner.

    As of right now, I’m working on getting back to the gym after being down with a cold and cough for three weeks. And I need to boost my immune system so that I am not down as long as was before. And I may try out this Qigong. I’ve never heard of it before but it looks like Ty-chi almost.

    1. Thanks, Johnny, for taking the time to read and comment.

      Yes, Qigong abd Tai Chi (I can it Taiji) are related. Tai Chi is great for balance. It’s a hybrid of Qigong and Martial Arts, as all the movements have martial applications, but done in slow motion. 

      Qigong is more intentional. The moves are more repetitive, and have a visualization as well as movement with the breath as the engine behind each movement.

      I hope you do try it! Here’s the link to my YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/c/AlPerryQ

      Stay well and thrive!


  14. I am a health food nut and I also take supplements. This article covers a very good outline. I just want to know if you have a good solution for gut health for so many of us have a leaky gut and I am looking for a way to take care of this problem.   

    1. Hi Walt, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Individual health issues were beyond the scope of this article.

      Got health, however, is highly important for a healthy life.

      For me personally, my hurt health changed for the better when I started personalized nutrition. One size doesn’t fit all, each person has individual nutritional needs. I suggest taking the assessment from IDLife: healthyqi.idlife.com

      It’s free too take. You get a personalized Health score and recommendations for supplementation that you need, for your lifestyle, you’re age, gender, ethnicity, and season. 

      I Hope that’s helpful!

      Here’s to your health!

      Stay well and thrive!


  15. This is some very helpful information. I am in desperate need of some balance. At 58, I have begun to take the need for sleep seriously. 4-5 hours was my norm. Looking at the gut health section, what can be used to improve my gut health? As far as moderate exercise, it seems as if I gain weight trying to lose weight. I may look into ID Life to better understand.

    1. Hi Canty. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      ID Life would be my go-to for gut health. Take the free assessment and answer the questions honestly and you’ll get the nutrients you need for your body to have great gut health. They have a natural sleep aide as well with no drugs or side effects. If you want to know what the best exercises are for your DNA, the DNA report will tell you that. Not everyone needs the same exercise. If it hasn’t worked for you you’re probably not exercising for your body type.

      I hope that’s helpful!

      Stay well and thrive!


  16. I truly believe that our immune system is our finest line of defense against viruses. We must consider our health to be of primary importance and focus. Getting proper sleep, gut health, moderate exercise, and ensuring vital minerals and vitamins are of tremendous importance in order to have strong immune systems able to resist disease and sicknesses. Wow. This is incredible information that everyone needs to learn and value. Pandemics prey on the weak and the infirm; keep your body healthy and strong! Thank you for such excellent information!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Lyle.

      Yes, it’s so very important to have a healthy lifestyle to keep our immune system optimized to it can eliminate pathogens out to take over our bodies.

      Stay well, strong, and keep thriving!


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