Firstly, here’s a very quick anatomy and physiology lesson about the IMMUNE SYSTEM – this is just like being back at college for me :)…
24 hours a day our body is at war with the millions of micro-organisms continually attempting to invade and occupy our organs and tissues. A healthy body’s immune system can be activated by specialised white cells (lymphocytes) due to cancerous changes in cells and also in response to infection or cell abnormalities.
Thank goodness we have a highly sophisticated immune system to protect us!
The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system with its circulation occurring only through the action of the body’s muscles, and works its way through a series of one-way valves. It consists of lymph (a watery fluid) that leaks out of blood vessels, accumulates in the spaces between the cells of body tissues, drains into a network of lymph capillaries, and then into larger vessels known as lymphatics, these are studded with filters called lymph nodes.
Lymph nodes are small masses of tissue enclosed in a fibrous capsule, 1–20 mm in size and within each node are cavities (sinuses) containing two types of white blood cells: lymphocytes and macrophages. These cells play a major role in defending the body against infection by neutralising/destroying micro-organisms in the lymph before it returns to the bloodstream.
Some disease organisms trigger an inflammatory response in affected tissues which attack rather than destroy all invading organisms in the same way, increasing blood flow and bringing special cells (neutrophils) to the infected areas to ingest and destroy the organisms.
If infection is not overcome by the inflammatory response, two types of specific immune responses – (i) antibody and (ii) cellular defence – may be activated, these depend on the action of white blood cells known as B and T lymphocytes (B’s attack and T’s destroy), and provide protection against future infections.
Many complementary therapies can help support the immune system, such as massage and reflexology but what’s great for someone that’s unwell and doesn’t want to be touched and maybe needs to be left alone because they could be contagious is that you can just smell an essential oil, diffuse them and breathe them in to clear your airways and clear airborne pathogens whilst protecting others around you; you can use them on your skin to then be absorbed and circulated around the body, and with certified pure therapeutic grade oils you can even take them internally.
As the seasons change, our bodies may need additional support to stay healthy. ESSENTIAL OILS are unique in their ability to naturally assist our immune systems: killing pathogens, increasing white blood cell activity and increasing our cellular tolerance to pathogens and toxins.