Joy & the Immune System
Happiness is one of the greatest antibiotics available to us. It creates balance in the blood and releases stress by flushing out damaging toxins. Studies have shown that depression leads to lowered T lymphocytes. Negative emotions will therefore contribute to prolonged infection. Just by staying relaxed and happy you can boost your immune response.
A way to build the immune system is to focus on the thymus gland. The thymus gland is an important organ of the immune system. It regulates the level of prana or life energy within the body. In scientific terms the thymus gland is instrumental in the production and maturation of T-lymphocytes or T cells. T cells protect the body from viruses and infections and form a part of the immune system. The thymus produces and secretes thymosin, a hormone necessary for T cell development and production.
For those allergic to environmental changes an increase in allergy symptoms indicates that our immune system is working overtime. A stuffy nose, inflamed eyes or a sore throat are a result of the mucous produced by the immune system, when it fights, invading infections. If the immune system is not strong the bacteria can go deeper in the body and cause fever or pain and even aching in the joints.
In complementary medicine this gland is of vital importance for the life energy available within the body. This gland is located between the heart and throat chakra right where the two collarbones meet. The thymus sits above the higher eighth chakra and is associated with immune system function for the rest of your aura.
An important quality of the thymus is an expression of uniqueness – what is natural and unique to you. When you repress your qualities you suppress life energy. This results in stress and an inclination towards stress producing illness. If you relax the nervous system the symptoms of allergies start decreasing and diminish over time.
Yoga asanas are an excellent way of relaxing the nervous system. Some Yoga postures that focus on deep breathing and relax the nervous system are:
Kapalbharti – a brilliant technique for allergies as it forces the mucous out of the body.
The Tortoise pose, the Pigeon, the Fish, the Boat, the Bow and the Bridge – stimulates both the thymus gland and the immune system.
Inversions and Forward Bends like – Downward Facing Dog pose (improves the flow of the sinuses and help flush mucous from the lungs).
Camel pose (opens the chest and lungs).
Cobra pose (increases lung mobility).
Basic yoga poses and breathing exercises induce a state of happiness. This state is not just a result of the exercise induced dopamine but goes deeper. The mind-body connection created in yoga brings change at a cellular level. Yoga breathing activates the Parasympathetic nervous system. Yoga integrates mind, body and spirit and therein lies the beauty of this discipline. This connectedness brings forth a deep well of joy and peace. Therein lies the happiness.
~ Sabinder Kaur