A Natural and Holistic Approach to Immune Health
by Lynn Feinman
When I was told I had Lyme disease 12 years ago, I was devastated. I was healthy, or so I thought. I exercised, was a vegetarian and even took vitamins. What I quickly came to realize was that this has everything to do with my “biochemical individuality”—my unique make-up which provided an opportunity for this bacteria carried by the tick to invade my body and cause fatigue, fever and kick off an autoimmune response. Our biochemical individuality is comprised of our genes, as well as our lifetime of environmental exposures and how our body has responded to both of these factors and our unique nutritional needs resulting from the interplay of these factors.
Determined to heal myself, I made a huge commitment to my own personal recovery, created a team of holistic practitioners and spent my free time researching everything I could about building my own natural immunity. In a few months, combining the best of both conventional medicine and naturopathic medicine made a difference. Today, I feel exceptional.
Empowered, I decided to return to school for a doctorate in naturopathy. Today, I am a practicing naturopath and have developed a 10-step building natural immunity program, which can be used for many immune and autoimmune conditions—not strictly Lyme disease.
As I learned early on, viruses caused by the Lyme bacteria in the body represent a breakdown within the immune system. Stages of immune compromise include; fatigue, colds, headaches, allergies in increasing frequency, inflammation, autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s, viruses like shingles and herpes, adrenal insufficiency, parasites, nervous system degeneration and cancer to mention a few.
Naturopathy offers the body natural support so that it may begin to heal itself. It seeks to restore and repair this breakdown. Most important is to address which system is weak and damaged: digestive, skin, immune, autoimmune or nervous system. Then, find the right support the body needs.
Optimal nutrition is essential for healing. Addressing nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, reducing inflammation, nutritional cleansing and liver support, targeting viruses, healing the gut as well as mind/body practice are all important aspects of healing.
With any health improvement program, the most important place to start is by making the commitment to recovery and healing. Then build a team of the right practitioners for your specific needs. Everyone is different and has unique needs for healing. Having faith in the body’s ability to heal and getting the right support is key.
Lynn Feinman is a naturopath at Natural Health Options, in Paoli. Connect with her at 610-608-1430. July 2015.