The Five Pillars Of Functional Medicine
Have you wished you had more time with your family? Have you been trying for a while to take better care of yourself?
If you are like many people who work from home these days, you have now more time to slow down and prioritize your health (mental, physical, spiritual). And this is integral to restoring and keeping your balance during these tough times.
The Five Pillars Of Functional Medicine are tools you can use to work on your immune system :
1. Nutrition and gut health
Eat a healthy diet, which includes fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains and plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Reduce or eliminate the unhealthy grains, cereals and sugars. Fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C provide an extra boost to immune function. Mushrooms such as maitake, shiitake, and reishi contain complex carbohydrates called beta-glucans that enhance immunity.
70% of your immune system is in your gut, so having a healthy digestive tract is also going to help you have a stronger immune system. Probiotic rich foods might be helpful to maintain the healthy bacteria in your colon.
If you have not worked on your digestion and you have GI issues, this is a good time to discuss with a Functional Medicine practitioner and get tested and treated. You can do a comprehensive stool test at home and based on the results, your Functional medicine doctor would help you start an individualized digestive support plan.
Sleep is so important for your immune system and overall health. Try your best to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep in a dark room, do not use your electronic devices at least an hour before bed, and do a short meditation to relax your mind before you fall asleep.
You will fall into a deeper sleep!
You want to move your body every day but you don’t want to overdo it, especially if you’ve got underlying issues like adrenal fatigue.Many people over exercise for hours a day. Best is to work with your body and find the right balance of stretching and exercise.
Go out for a walk, walk your dog daily.
4. Community and connection
Part of practicing self-care is making time to connect with those you love.
This is where you find connection and happiness, peace, contentment…where you find comfort and joy. What do we do about it on a daily basis? Do you do yoga? Do you meditate? Do you talk to your family and friends?
We gain so much perspective on life when connecting with our community than we ever could in isolation.
5. Stress management
Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing but when it becomes chronic and it’s preventing you from living your best life you must do something about it.
When your body experiences ongoing stress, you won’t be able to sleep or detox as well and your immune system will only work sub-par. It will also cause major disruptions to your hormones. Include things in your life that bring you joy and help your body relax.
Some of my favorite ways to tackle stress are practicing gratitude, walking, breathing deeply, journaling, laughing, massage, getting outside in nature or gardening.