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Resilience: a capacity to recover

Edith Wharton once said: “In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy, sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.

The immune system is not some mechanical turn on/turn off mechanism that can be ‘boosted’ or strengthened, this totally misses the real function of immunity. It is about resiliency.

Resilience stands for one’s capacity to recover from extremes of trauma and stress. Resilience in a person reflects a dynamic union of factors that encourages positive adaptation despite exposure to adverse life experiences, physical and emotional. Resilience is the process that allows individuals to adapt to adverse conditions and recover from them. This process is favoured by individual qualities that have been studied in the field of stress such as personal control, positive affect, optimism, and social support. There is evidence that immune processes and resiliency are quite the same thing. Most of the data supporting this relationship comes from animal studies on individual differences in the ability to resist situations of chronic stress, physical and emotional:  it is all about the body/mind.

In general, resilient individuals have a different immunophenotype* from that of stress susceptible individuals. It is possible to render susceptible individuals resilient and vice versa by changing their inflammatory phenotype. The adaptive immune phenotype also influences the ability to recover from inflammation-induced symptoms. The modulation of these bidirectional relationships between resilience and immunity via the gut microbiota opens the possibility to influence these positively through ensuring gut/digestive health. 

*phenotype = the set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment.

Note the phrase ” by changing their inflammatory phenotype”. Immunity is not just a herb, medical mushrooms, vitamin C or most other ‘immune boosters’. Changing an inflammatory phenotype means to build resilience and not just ‘add’ but  also ‘reduce’ inflammation anxiety and depression.

Whole of body health is intricately linked to the physical – emotional – mental – spiritual bodies which all need to be nurtured in order to achieve true resilience.

For individualised support and advice, contact us at True Medicine on 07 5530 1863.